George Warren, KXTV8:37 p.m. PDT September 5, 2014
PLACERVILLE, Calif – Drug agents on Friday raided two rural properties in El Dorado County owned by a Sacramento man whose previous conflicts with authorities have generally involved code violations with homes in urban neighborhoods.
Meantime, a warrant has been issued in Nevada for the arrest of Raghvendra “Raj” Singh on drug-related charges there.
Outside Placerville, agents with the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team served search warrants at a 10-acre parcel with a mobile home on Yearling Trail and 42 acres of raw land on Muleskinner Road.
Both properties are held in the name of Kiran Rawat, but multiple sources say they are controlled by her husband, Raj Singh.
Agents seized roughly 100 marijuana plants on Yearling Trail, where a neighbor told News10 he had seen Singh during an earlier harvest. A tenant living in the mobile home was not arrested.
A smaller number of plants were taken from the property on Muleskinner Road.
News10 has identified other rural properties in El Dorado County owned by Singh that have been involved in marijuana cultivation, but they were not targeted in Friday’s raids.
Singh owns 10 acres of vacant land on Rock Creek Road where a neighbor complained that pot growers broke into his pump house last year to steal well water.
Singh paid $35,000 for 10 undeveloped acres on Jeff Road two years ago, apparently unaware the property was landlocked with no water or power.
“He walked up and was very friendly,” said a neighbor who did not want to be identified. “And then he said that I would sell him power and I would give him water from my well. And I said, ‘No. Actually I won’t.'”
The neighbor said no marijuana was ever grown on that property.
Friday’s raids in El Dorado County follow a raid on Tuesday at a run-down motel Singh owns in Mineral County, Nev.
Sheriff’s deputies, tribal police and the Nevada Highway Patrol seized nearly $500,000 worth of marijuana plants, processed marijuana and hashish oil from the Roadrunner Motel, which Singh bought last year for $105,000.
Mineral County Sheriff Stewart Handte said an hour-long phone conversation with Singh on Wednesday convinced him that Singh was aware marijuana was being produced at the motel.
In previous conversations with News10, Singh has acknowledged being involved in marijuana cultivation in El Dorado County– but he insisted the activity is protected by California’s medical marijuana law.
But it’s a different story across the state line.
Handte said cultivation for any reason is illegal in Mineral County and there’s a felony enhancement because the motel is less than 1,000 feet from an elementary school.