Three family members were arrested on marijuana charges after the Merced County sheriff's STAR Team served search warrants in Mariposa and Merced counties, authorities reported Tuesday.
Michael Noriega, 51; wife Laura Noriega, 46; and son Kenneth Noriega, 23, were taken into custody Monday. The arrests were the culmination of a six-week investigation, officials said.
Sgt. Kevin Blake and the STAR Team, with help from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the AB 109 team and state parole agents conducted the operation, according to deputy Delray Shelton, a sheriff's spokesman.
Law enforcement officers served a search warrant at a 5666 Blackberry Creek Road home in Mariposa County, where authorities said they found 20 pounds of processed marijuana. Michael Noriega was taken into custody at the home.
The other Mariposa search warrant was served at the family's used car lot at 4659 Mormon Bar Crossing. Kenneth Noriega was occupying a home on the property, where authorities said the team found about 40 marijuana plants, 20 pounds of marijuana, 40 plants, and marijuana baked goods and edibles.
In Merced, the team served a search warrant at 166 W. 22nd St., where they found a small amount of marijuana. Laura Noriega wasn't arrested at any of the homes. She turned herself in.
Kenneth Noriega was booked on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, transportation of a controlled substance and two counts of felony marijuana possession, among other charges. He's being held in lieu of $585,000 bail.
Laura Noriega was booked on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale. She was released after posting bail.
Michael Noriega was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor possession of concentrated cannabis and transportation for sale of 25-plus pounds of marijuana. He was released after posting bail.