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Probation raid in Clovis leads to pot bust, theft investigation

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The raid on this property started early Wednesday morning. Corporal Vince Weibert of the Clovis Police Department told Action News the homeowner was suspected of dealing drugs.

"This is a long standing investigation that's been going on here involving this property and the people who have been coming and going from here." Weibert said.

Three people were arrested, including the property owner, Herbert Bethel. He was charged with possession of marijuana for sale, and for being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm. Officers found a hundred pounds of pot, worth about a quarter of a million dollars on the property, along with four firearms.

Carl Brawley was arrested on a drug warrant, and Ryan Bartleman was picked up for being a wanted parolee at large. They also recovered a safe, the size of a refrigerator that had been reported stolen from another location.

Investigators used a Fire Department ladder truck to get an aerial view of the property. A Google Earth image of the two acre site shows what investigators are facing trailers and sheds loaded with what look like motorcycle parts.

"There's a large amount of property to go through. We've been assisted by HEAT in that part of the investigation, checking VIN numbers because there's large amount of motorcycles on the property, motorcycle parts and engine parts, just to check for stolen property." Weibert said.

Several small motorcycle trailers were taken from the property because investigators said the Vehicle Identification Numbers did not appear to be correct.

Clovis Police spokesperson Janet Stoll-Lee told Action News this could be a lengthy investigation. "There may be more to come on this but right now we're looking at the guns, the money and the drugs." She said.

In addition to several law enforcement agencies, representatives of the EPA, Health Department and Code enforcement were on the scene, PG&E crews were also here, investigating alleged theft of electric power.

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Tags:
drug bust, crimetracker, clovis, fresno county, local, gene haagenson
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