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Sheriff's Office

Expired Medical Marijuana Card Holder and His Wife Arrested For Growing 411 Marijuana Plants
 
Posted: 8/19/2014 12:00 AM
 

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office received information from a tipster of an illegal marijuana grow at a residence in the 18000 block of West Hopi Drive, outside the city limits of Casa Grande.

On August 13th, 2014 the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at the residence. The home owners; Rommel Nabayan (age 53 from Casa Grande and an ezpired Arizona Medical Marijuana Card holder) and Carol Nabayan (age 50 from Casa Grande) were living in the residence and were conducting a massive marijuana grow inside the residence and throughout the property.

The illegal grow consisted of 411 Marijuana plants in various stages of growth, with an estimated value of approximately $400,000 dollars. Along with sophisticated growing equipment and drug paraphernalia. Detectives located nine pounds of cultivated marijuana, packaged and ready for sale, which has an estimated street value of $4,500 dollars. Three guns; two handguns and a shotgun were located inside the residence. Detectives located $15,000 dollars in the couple’s bedroom along with notes and ledgers pertaining to the illegal operation.

Detectives confiscated four vehicles and $15,000 dollars, belonging to the couple. The forfeiture process has been requested for the forfeiture of the money and vehicles.

After being arrested Rommel admitted growing the marijuana plants as an “experiment”. He further stated he consumes the marijuana and gives the rest of the marijuana to others, free of charge

Carol admitted to knowing about the grow operation, claiming to have no responsibility for it. She further identified Rommel as the primary operator.

Rommel and Carol were arrested and charged with Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale, Production of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. They remain in custody of the Pinal County Jail, both having a $25,000 dollar bond.

Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “Arizona voters passed the law which allows individuals with a doctor’s approval to purchase or grow marijuana to treat certain medical conditions. Rommel and Carol Nabayan foolishly thought they could use Rommel’s expired medical marijuana card to grow marijuana and then sell it for profit. The Nabayan’s are not the first individuals we have arrested using their medical marijuana card to conduct illegal marijuana offenses. This case is one of many that show how difficult enforcement has become with medical marijuana.”

 
 

Public Information Officer

Jim Knupp
520.483.4502
pcsopio@pinalcountyaz.gov



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