Press Releases

Thermal Station

Posted on: March 16, 2021

Search Warrant / Marijuana Cultivation



Sheriff Chad Bianco

Press Release:Search Warrant / Marijuana Cultivation
Station Area:Thermal
Written Date:March 16, 2021Time:10:20 AM
Incident Date:March 16, 2021Time:6:00 AM
Incident Location:85-000 block of Avenue 61, Thermal
Reporting Officer:Sergeant Mariano Matos III
File Number(s):C210390038


Illegal Marijuana Grow Operation

On March 16, 2021 at 6:00 A.M., deputies assigned to the Southern Coachella Valley Community Service District Team (SCVCSDT), with the assistance of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Coachella Community Action Team (CCAT), La Quinta Special Enforcement Team (SET), Coachella Valley Violent Crime Gang Task Force (CVVCGTF), the Riverside County Special Investigation Bureau, and the Thermal Station Investigation Bureau served a search warrant in the 85-000 block of Avenue 61 in the unincorporated area of Thermal. The search warrant stemmed from an illegal cannabis cultivation investigation. During the search warrant service approximately 6,614 marijuana plants were eradicated with a total weight of approximately 9,680 pounds (4.84 tons). Jing Li Cheng, 46 y/o of Rosemead, and Michael Chen, 47 y/o of Rosemead were arrested for marijuana cultivation. Both Cheng and Chen were booked at the John Benoit Detention Center (JBDC) in the city of Indio.

The goal of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is to keep all 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. Anyone with any information regarding this incident is urged to contact Deputy Lorton with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at (760)863-8990, or Crime Stoppers at (760)341-STOP (7867).

For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.

Jing Li Cheng
Michael Chen


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