weather icon Clear

Nye deputies seize over $20M in illegal marijuana

Updated October 18, 2018 - 1:36 pm

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office seized more than $20 million worth of illegally grown marijuana in September in what detectives believe is the largest drug bust in county history.

Three men were arrested in connection with the marijuana growing operation, after officials discovered about 9,000 plants and 500 pounds of finished, packaged drugs on Sept. 13, the sheriff’s office said Thursday.

Jordan Torres, 26, and 30-year-old Jose Mendez-Ayala, both from California, were arrested during the bust. Another suspect, 38-year-old Eustacio Piedra-Robledo, of Perris, California, fled the scene but was later arrested in Riverside, California, police said.

The men face charges of trafficking controlled substances, possession of controlled substances with intent to sell and conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Police discovered Mendez-Ayala was in the U.S. illegally, and he was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, police said.

The sheriff’s office said it received a tip about the drug operation.

In a press release, Nye County narcotics detective Trevor Meade said the bust was the “largest marijuana seizure that has occurred during my 17 years in narcotics,” in terms of the amount and value of the drugs.

Officials also seized chemicals including carbofuran, which is used to fertilize plants and increase potency. The chemicals are also poisonous to wildlife and can leach into water sources, police said.

The sheriff’s office said the suspects are believed to have ties to other drug-trafficking and human-trafficking operations.

The sheriff’s office, the U.S. Forest Service, the state Wildlife Department, the state Investigation Division and the Drug Enforcement Administration all worked on the drug bust.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
‘Monster Mash’ returns to Pahrump Senior Center

A popular Halloween-themed annual event returns this month, as the Pahrump Senior Center is hosting its annual “Monster Mash” party on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Nye County scraps six-hour-leave restriction for sex workers

Nye County is currently considering making several changes to Nye County Code Title 9, which regulates the brothel industry and one of the proposed changes, a six-hour leave rule, sparked outrage from many, particularly courtesans and advocates of the industry.

Semi-truck crash snarls Pahrump traffic

Drivers looking to travel eastbound from Nevada Highway 160 were forced to take a detour around the scene of a single-vehicle crash involving a semi-truck late Tuesday morning this week.

Vendors needed for Pahrump Veterans Stand Down

The men and women who have given their service to the country in the U.S armed forces have a special place in the hearts of many and giving back to veterans is a cause that attracts much support in the local community.

Gateway welcome signs arrive in Nevada

The Nevada Department of Transportation has begun installation of new “Welcome to Nevada” monuments on U.S. 395 at two entrances into the state.

Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo’s ethics agreement accepted

Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo was the subject of two ethics complaints earlier this year, with a Nevada Commission on Ethics review panel determining that the issues contained therein could be adequately addressed through a stipulation agreement.

Trump supporters take a stand in Pahrump

The intersection of Nevada Highway 160 and Crawford Way in the heart of town was the setting for a rally in support of President Donald Trump early Wednesday afternoon.