September 6, 2006 – San Jose. The two men caught July 8 tending to an illegal pot farm on Mt. Hamilton are scheduled to be sentenced next month for their crimes. Saul Toledo pled guilty to a felony charge of marijuana cultivation with a firearm enhancement and to misdemeanor charges of water pollution and streambed diversion. Luis Herrera also pled guilty to the same charges (w/out the firearm enhancement) and will also admit probation violations.
The pair will be sentenced on October 10, 2006 at 9 am in Department 24 at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice. Both face up to two years in prison.
On July 8, the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Marijuana Eradication Team eradicated a 4,141-plant marijuana garden on private property just off of Mt. Hamilton Road near the Lick Observatory. Two suspects were arrested after they were seen tending the marijuana plants. The suspects were 20-year-old Saul Toledo and 23 year old Luis Herrera of San Jose. Toledo was armed with a handgun. The two men were living in a tent within the garden. They were charged with cultivation, possession for sales, and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony. CA Fish and Game is working on prosecution for several environmental crimes committed in and around the marijuana garden including: pollution, poaching, and stream diversion.
The Marijuana Suppression Team is part of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit and consists of two full time deputies and a sergeant. The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services funds most of the program. The mission of the program is to minimize marijuana availability through investigations, crop destructions, arrests, prosecutions of cultivators and traffickers, to deter cultivation and potential growing areas and to seize and initiate forfeiture of perpetrator's assets.
Anyone having any information related to illegal indoor and/or outdoor marijuana gardens can call the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Marijuana Eradication Team Tip line at (408) 808-4420.