[California AG] – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced Thursday the arrests of 14 individuals across three states and the seizure of 1,300 pounds of processed marijuana as part of a multi-state illegal drug trafficking ring.
The operation also resulted in the seizure of 8 firearms, $415,855 in cash, $35,000 in gold bars and silver coins and three generators valued at $20,000.
“At the California Department of Justice, our special agents target criminal enterprises running drugs, guns and human beings up and down California,” said Attorney General Harris. “In this case, we have shut down a large-scale drug trafficking operation that went beyond California’s borders.”
On March 8, a California Department of Justice drug task force, the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team (MAVMIT), received a tip regarding a large crate being shipped from a private shipping company in West Sacramento to Chicago. As part of a parcel interdiction investigation, MAVMIT agents recovered approximately 80 pounds of high grade marijuana. The empty crate was shipped to Chicago, where law enforcement officials followed two individuals, Dillon Hudson and Jon Stansfield, to Milwaukee. The team arrested the two men and recovered an additional 120 pounds of marijuana and $300,000 in cash.
MAVMIT executed a search warrant on Dillon Hudson’s ranch in Placerville and seized 946 pounds of processed marijuana, 2 pounds of hash, 8 firearms, $100,000 in cash, $35,000 in silver bars and gold coins, 3 generators and two all terrain vehicles. Hudson and Stansfield were arrested in Milwaukee. Eleven other adults arrested in California were employed to trim and process the marijuana, and were paid $250 to $400 per pound. Those arrested face felony charges of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sales, sales and trafficking of marijuana, conspiracy, and being armed in the commission of a felony, and were booked in the El Dorado County Jail. Hudson and Stansfield were booked in Chicago pending federal charges.
Additionally, a second large ranch in Pilot Hill was identified through the investigation as belonging to the Hudson drug trafficking organization. Agents served a search warrant at this location, and recovered an indoor marijuana grow and over 73 pounds of processed marijuana and packaging materials for shipping the marijuana. During the search in Pilot Hill, agents identified Kenneth Hayes as being involved in Hudson’s drug trafficking organization. Hayes was arrested at the Sacramento International Airport by MAVMIT agents without incident upon his return to Sacramento from Wisconsin. Hayes was arrested on felony charges of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sales, sales and trafficking of marijuana, and conspiracy and booked into the El Dorado County Jail.
Also seized were the property in Pilot Hill, with an estimated value of $450,000, the property in Placerville, estimated value $300,000, a condo in Indonesia belonging to Hayes with estimated value $17,000, and several bank accounts.
MAVMIT is seeking federal indictments on the 13 individuals who were arrested. Currently they are being held on state charges at the County Jail. The investigation is ongoing.