Sheriff pulls 23 weeds near Escondida

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The Socorro County Sheriff’s Department, in a joint operation with federal agencies and the 7th Judicial District Attorney’s office, arrested a man Aug. 19 for growing 23 marijuana plants near Escondida.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Socorro Magistrate Court, Robert Janas is charged with trafficking controlled substances by manufacture, a second-degree felony; conspiracy to commit a felony, a third-degree felony; and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Deputy William Armijo said R.D. Hays, an investigator with the 7th Judicial District Attorney’s office, contacted him and explained federal agents found marijuana growing in a yard when they were doing operations by the river.

The criminal complaint filed in the case states Hays was an observer in a flight over the area Aug. 15 to find marijuana patches in Sierra and Socorro counties. Hays spotted marijuana growing in the yard of what was later identified as Janas’ residence.

Hays also double checked with the Department of Health to make sure that location was not associated with any personal use production licenses for medical marijuana, according to the complaint. He then obtained a search warrant Aug. 18 from a 7th Judicial District Court judge.

Armijo said Socorro County deputies, Hays and the federal agents executed the search warrant on the property Aug. 19, finding 23 marijuana plants, along with personal use paraphernalia items in two residences located on the property. The plants were seized and one person was arrested for trafficking, conspiracy and possession of paraphernalia.

“Charges are pending on the other occupants of the property,” Armijo said.

Armijo added children were located on the property as well, so the state Children, Youth and Families Department was called in to investigate.