2014-04-24 / Front Page

Local businessman arrested for cultivation

Art Lee (Photo Courtesy of Mariposa County Sheriff's Office)Art Lee (Photo Courtesy of Mariposa County Sheriff's Office)Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - 12:05 p.m. - Arthur Tah Yan Lee, 52, owner and operator of China Station, a Chinese food restaurant located in Pioneer Village in Mariposa at the intersection of Highway 49 South and Highway 140, was arrested this morning at his home on Sebastopol Road.

Lee was booked into the Mariposa County Adult Detention Facility just before noon today.
He is charged with felony cultivation of marijuana, conspiracy to sell marijuana, and possession for sale. His bail was set at $100,000.

His arrest coincided with law enforcement sweeps made early today where search warrants were served and other arrests made. One warrant was served in Mariposa on Mariposa Street, and the other two were served within a few miles of town on Lookout Mountain Road and Sebastopol Road.

The search warrants were a product of a lengthy criminal investigation into the illegal cultivation of marijuana and conspiracy to cultivate marijuana. During the investigation, leading up to today’s search warrants, four previous search warrants targeting marijuana cultivation locations in Mariposa County had been executed.

This investigation is focused on local properties that are working together to cultivate marijuana under the 215 medicinal marijuana umbrella, however, doing so as an illegal enterprise.

In total, there were four arrest made and 473 marijuana plants were removed from the properties.

"I'm happy with the results of the lengthy investigation and the hard work of our detectives. They focused on a criminal element that we do not want operating in our communities," said Sheriff Doug Binnewies.

Look for further details in the May 8 edition of the Mariposa Gazette.

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