Newman residents arrested in marijuana sweep

Five Newman residents were among dozens arrested last week in a countywide marijuana eradication operation, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department reported Saturday.

The week-long eradication campaign, which was spearheaded largely by the department’s Community Resource Unit and involved multiple agencies, targeted more than 60 confirmed outdoor and indoor marijuana grows throughout the county, according to a news release.

The operation resulted in the eradication of 74,088 marijuana plants (39,883 of which were fully budded. Authorities reported that 1,687 pounds of fully processed marijuana plants were recovered. Forty-six firearms and $172,347 in cash were seized, and 83 people were either booked or cited on various law violations.

The total street value of the eradicated marijuana was estimated at nearly $100 million.

Five Newman residents were among those arrested and booked from Monday through mid-day Friday (later arrests were not included in the initial news release).

The sheriff’s department reported that those arrested included Oscar Sagrero Cabrera, 31; Perla C. Gomez, 29; Angel Galvan Palacios, 22; Marco Gomez, 40; and Eduardo Cabrera, 19, all of Newman.

Illicit marijuana grows pose significant dangers, the sheriff’s department stated in its news release. The locations can be targets for robbery and violent crime, pose environmental hazards, often involve utility theft and may utilize people who have been trafficked from outside the United States.

Neighborhood complaints often involve concerns about odors, pedestrian and vehicle traffic and the potential for armed confrontations at the site of illicit grows, the department stated.

“We truly appreciate the assistance from all allied agencies who came together in order to make this operation a success,” Sheriff Jeff Dirkse commented. “The community can rest assured that we are dedicated to strongly regulating and enforcing all black market, cannabis-related laws.”

Gustine adopts mandatory Goman Center cleaning fee

The Gustine City Council last week approved a mandatory cleaning fee to be charged users of the Al Goman Community Center.

Staff recommended the mandatory fee in response to past issues with renters not properly cleaning the floor and to insure that the specific care and cleaning product requirements outlined for the newly-installed floor are met.

A mandatory cleaning fee of $300 was adopted. A reduced cleaning fee of $200 will be charged to eligible service groups, according to staff reports.

The floor is just one of the improvements planned for the center, City Manager Doug Dunford noted.

The interior has also been painted, he noted, and the city hopes to make further improvements to the kitchen, restrooms and bar area. Dunford said the city is also hoping to add audio/visual equipment at the center.

While currently closed to renters, Dunford said the city will re-open the facility as soon as guidelines allow.

Newman fire report

Personnel from the Newman Fire Department and West Stanislaus Fire Protection District’s Newman station responded to 27 calls for service from May 28 through June 3.

Fire Chief Keith Bowen said the responses included 14 medical aid calls, four motor vehicle collisions, three public assists, one assist to another agency, one residential fire alarm, one vehicle fire and three “other” type incidents.

Bowen said the incidents included a May 29 collision at River and Hills Ferry roads which resulted in minor injuries; a May 29 roll-over motor vehicle accident on southbound I-5 at Stuhr Road which resulted in moderate injury; and a May 30 accident on Prince Road at Canyon Creek in which a power pole was sheared off, leaving wires down on the roadway but not resulting in reported injury; and a June 1 accident on Interstate 5 and Fink Road which resulted in a complaint of pain injury.

On May 30, crews responding to a report of a vehicle fire at Villa Manucha at Azevedo Road arrived to find a vehicle on the side of the road and fully engulfed in flames with no occupants in the vicinity.