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Riverside County (Opens in New Window)
Press Release: Marijuana Cultivation Search Warrants
Agency: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
Station Area: Hemet
Written Date: January 13, 2020 Time: 8:45 P.M.
Incident Date: January 13, 2020 Time: 6:00 A.M.
Incident Location: Aguanga
Reporting Officer: Sergeant James Burton
File Number(s): Several


On January 13, 2020, at the direction of Sheriff Chad Bianco, personnel from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Fish and Wildlife served thirteen marijuana cultivation related search warrants in the unincorporated county area known as Aguanga. During the service, approximately 15,192 marijuana plants were eradicated and 2356 pounds of processed marijuana was collected, for a total combined weight of over three tons.  Seven rifles, five handguns and two shotguns were located and booked into evidence. One of the grows was using found to be using the extremely toxic pesticide known as Carbofuran, which is banned in the United States for it’s toxicity.  The following suspects were arrested, charges will be filed with the District Attorney’s Office for Marijuana Cultivation:

  • 44-year-old Aguanga resident Leonard Arthur Engren Jr.
  • 66-year-old Aguanga resident Phil Neomahavong
  • 28-year-old Aguanga resident Travis Walter Barnaby
  • 26-year-old Aguanga resident Casey Patrick Gibbs
  • 24-year-old Aguanga resident Brent Taylor Tory Smith
  • 30-year-old Aguanga resident Fermin Vargas Taluinde

The goal of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is to keep all of our citizens safe while also improving the quality of life for those residing within the community.  Marijuana cultivation negatively impacts the environment in many ways including diminishing and poisoning the water table and pesticides adversely affecting the health of neighboring residents.  The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has a zero-tolerance policy for these offenses.  If you suspect drug activity in your area, please contact your local Sheriff’s Station.  The Hemet Sheriff’s Station can be reached at (951) 791-3400 and the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station can be reached at (951) 766-2400.


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