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HomeLocal & Regional NewsFive Arrested for Felony Cultivation in Multi-Agency Sweep Near Secret Creek

Five Arrested for Felony Cultivation in Multi-Agency Sweep Near Secret Creek

Deputy Russell and K9 Brinks at a cultivation site near Secret Creek

Five men were arrested last week after a task force comprised of multiple agencies served warrants and searched suspected Marijuana grow operations near Secret Creek, about 30 miles north of Susanville on Highway 395.

According to details released today by Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife obtained three search warrants for five properties on Secret Creek on June 22nd.

“The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and CDFW,” explained Growdon, “had received complaints about marijuana cultivation activities reducing water flows in the creek.”

On June 23rd, personnel from the CDFW, environmental personnel from multiple agencies, LCSO, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service served the search warrants.

“Approximately 1,600 plants were eradicated,” said Growdon. “Approximately 80 environmental violations were identified, and three firearms were seized at the scene.”

According to Growdon the environmental staff said that this was one of the worst sites they have ever seen.

Five people were arrested on multiple felony charges involving cultivation of marijuana and the associated environmental damage which included unlawful grading, unlawful diversion and impediment of state waters.

Arrested were: Michael Lo, age 53 of Burnsville, Minnesota; Chao Thao, age 73 of Oroville, California; Wang Thao, age 22 of Fresno, California; Eric Vang, age 51 of Hampshire, Minnesota and Thong Vang, age 57 of Fresno, California.

The case is still under investigation and will likely result in criminal filings on additional people.

The arrestees were booked into the Lassen County Jail and held on $30,000 bail each. They all posted bail after being booked.

Michael Lo, age 53 of Burnsville
Chao Thao, age 73 of Oroville
Wang Thao, age 22 of Fresno
Eric Vang, age 51 of Hampshire, Minnesota
Thong Vang, age 57 of Fresno
K9 Officer Brinks and deputies move to the second floor of a dwelling to continue searching
Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso
SusanvilleStuff.com Publisher/Editor
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