18 arrested in Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino drug bust
LEMOORE, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Kings County Sheriff's Department shuts down a major marijuana operation at a popular South Valley casino.
18 people are in jail after narcotics detectives say they found the group packaging more than a quarter of a million dollars' worth of concentrated marijuana in three hotel rooms at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino.
Kings County investigators say alert security at Tachi Palace is what set this all into motion. They called authorities after smelling a strong marijuana odor on the 6th floor of the hotel.
Narcotics detectives say the tiny containers when filled with hash oil sell for about $50.00 on the street. Investigators say they found at least 5,000 of those containers packaged with the hash oil.
The drugs were found in three separate rooms at the hotel. Investigators also found several pounds of drugs that had been processed for sale, but not yet packaged. In all, 18 people between the ages of 18 and 35 were arrested. They all face several charges including manufacturing a controlled substance, conspiracy to commit a felony, burglary and possession charges.
South Valley authorities say the massive bust would not have been possible without the alert staff here at Tachi Palace.
"The palace security was real quick and effective in alerting us to the problem," Sgt. Jeff Torres said. "It was a large scale concentrated marijuana operation. The information we have, one of the primary subjects, Dale Ball, had been in trouble in Tulare County for this. Apparently he was looking for another location to do that and he landed here in Kings County."
Detectives also served a search warrant in the parking lot of the hotel where they found several butane containers in a trailer. They say the butane was used to concentrate the drugs before they were packaged.
A search warrant was also served at a home in Exeter where investigators say they found evidence linked to the bust in Kings County.
Bail for most of those arrested has been set for nearly $600 thousand.
crimetracker, drug bust, lemoore, kings county, local, rick montanez
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