A woman was arrested Wednesday following a week-long investigation into 400 pounds of marijuana found at a Winton home.
Agents with the Merced/Mariposa Narcotics Task Force believe Juanita Vargas, 51, was maintaining the home in the 6000 block of Santa Fe Road for the purpose of selling marijuana. Sheriff's detectives were called to assist Merced County Animal Control officers serve a search warrant on Oct. 27 when they found 400 pounds of marijuana, with several hundred pounds wrapped individually in 1-pound bags.
Vargas presented detectives with a medical marijuana card and told them the marijuana was for medicinal use, but after consulting with the Merced County District Attorney's Office, agents said they believe Vargas was actually selling the packaged drugs. They returned to the home and seized the 400 pounds of marijuana and 44 grams of hashish, a resin derived from marijuana. Hashish is illegal to own regardless of medical marijuana laws, according to the Merced County Sheriff's Department.
Vargas was arrested and booked into Merced County Jail on suspicion of possession for sale of marijuana, maintaining a dwelling to sell controlled substances and possession of hashish. She has already posted the $120,000 bail.
-- Posted by Brandon Bowers