CLEARLAKE, Calif. – On Wednesday police arrested a convicted felon found to be in possession of firearms and who additionally was illegally growing marijuana.
Ruben Ceja Gonzalez, 36, of Clearlake was arrested, according to Sgt. Rodd Joseph of the Clearlake Police Department.
At 3 p.m. Wednesday Clearlake Police Officers Elvis Cook, Abigail Hernandez and Trevor Franklin responded to a residence located in the 3300 block of Fifth Street in Clearlake Park to conduct a medical marijuana compliance check, Joseph said. The compliance check was in response to an anonymous call regarding a possible illegal marijuana grow at that location.
When the officers arrived they contacted Gonzalez, a convicted felon out of the state of Nevada. Joseph said Gonzalez was argumentative and confrontational with officers from the initial contact.
Officers learned that Gonzalez lived at the residence, and Joseph said the officers could see several marijuana plants on the property.
Gonzalez claimed he did not have a medical marijuana recommendation for his marijuana grow. Based on the observations of the officers on scene as well as Gonzalez’s own admission of not having a medical marijuana recommendation, officers placed Gonzalez under arrest for felony marijuana cultivation, Joseph said.
Joseph said officers then applied for a search warrant to search Gonzalez’s yard and residence. A search warrant was granted and officers recovered approximately 37 large marijuana plants from Gonzalez’s yard, additional processed marijuana inside the residence, drug paraphernalia, a Winchester 12 gauge shotgun, shotgun ammunition and an AK22 .22 caliber rifle. Items also were located establishing Gonzalez lives at the residence.
Gonzalez additionally was arrested for felonies including being a convicted felon in possession of firearms, being a violent convicted felon in possession of firearms, a convicted felon in possession of ammunition, and being armed with a firearm in the commission of a felony, Joseph said.
Gonzalez was later booked into the Lake County Jail. Additional weapons and narcotic violations on Gonzalez are likely, Joseph reported.
Gonzalez's bail was set at $15,000, according to his booking sheet. Jail records indicated he posted bail and was released.
Since May of this year, the Clearlake Police Department has responded to approximately 100 requests from citizens for medical marijuana compliance checks in the city of Clearlake, Joseph said.
In all of those cases, the individuals have had medical recommendations from medical doctors for the patient’s own use of medical marijuana. However, Joseph said almost all of them have been found to be in violation of the city ordinance that limits the number of plants allowed or where the marijuana can be grown.
The marijuana grows found to be in violation of city ordinance have been referred to Clearlake Code Enforcement, who has jurisdiction on medical marijuana grows in violation of city ordinance, Joseph said.
The city ordinance governing medical marijuana grows can be found on the city’s Web page at http://clearlake.ca.us/152/Codes-Ordinances .