Four Individuals Charged in Marijuana Grow Operation
Las Vegas, Nev. – Federal charges have been filed against four individuals alleging that they operated a sophisticated indoor marijuana growing operation in Las Vegas, announced Greg Brower, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada. The charges were brought after federal and local law enforcement officials searched a warehouse near I-15 and West Desert Inn Road in June and discovered 2,000 marijuana plants, one of the largest seizures of marijuana ever made in Las Vegas.
Jeffrey Talley, 40, Alicia Talley, 41, Jim Castaneda, Jr., 35, and Craig Huber, 51, all of Las Vegas, are charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture Marijuana, Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana, and Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana. Jeffrey Talley and Alicia Talley are also charged with Money Laundering Conspiracy. The indictment was returned by the Grand Jury on August 26, 2009.
Jeffrey Talley is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on September 4, 2009, at 8:30 a.m. Alicia Talley, Castaneda, and Huber are scheduled to be arraigned on September 18, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. All of the defendants were arrested on August 6, 2009, and appeared before a federal magistrate judge on August 7. Jeffrey Talley is currently detained pending trial. The other defendants are released on personal recognizance bonds.
According to the court records, from about April 2004 through August 6, 2009, the defendants allegedly conspired to grow approximately 2,000 marijuana plants and to distribute at least 100 pounds of marijuana. On June 25, 2009, DEA Agents and detectives and officers from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department executed a search warrant at 3350 Pinks Place in Las Vegas. Inside the warehouse-like structure, the law enforcement agents and officers found 2,000 marijuana plants in approximately six rooms in varying states of growth. The 2,000 plants had the estimated capability of producing approximately $7 million worth of marijuana. The warehouse was divided into several rooms, some containing propagating marijuana plants and some containing equipment used to grow marijuana, including humidifiers, 1,000 watt light bulbs, oscillating fans, water pumps, etc.
Additionally, on 10 occasions between March 31, 2009, and April 24, 2009, Jeffrey Talley and Alicia Talley allegedly made cash deposits to their bank accounts, each in amounts less than $10,000, and totaling $61,690, in an attempt to avoid the filing of currency transaction reports by the banks to the IRS.
The Indictment also alleges that if the defendants are convicted they shall forfeit up to approximately $7.5 million in currency and/or properties. On August 6, 2009, federal agents executed federal seizure warrants at the residence of Jeffrey and Alicia Talley and seized approximately $500,000 worth of property, including a Kenworth tractor truck, a customized Kenworth motor home/truck, a power generator, a chopper motorcycle, a Chevrolet Suburban vehicle, and a racing trailer.
This case is being investigated by the DEA, IRS Criminal Investigation, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Henderson Police Department and Bureau of Indian Affairs. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kishan Nair and Lucas Foletta.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.