Six Arrests Made in Illegal Marijuana Cultivation on Western Slope

03/13/2019--On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, agents with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) obtained search warrants for 13 residences throughout Mesa County including Glade Park, Grand Junction, Clifton and Fruita where an illegal marijuana cultivation was allegedly taking place. During a search of the properties by the CBI, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), Grand Junction Police Department (GJPD), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, more than 1,000 plants were seized along with nearly 90 pounds of cultivated product. Several firearms were also recovered during the operation.

Agents began investigating a suspected illegal marijuana grow operation at a residence in Mesa County based upon information provided by a partner law enforcement agency in late 2018. Agents determined the grow appeared to be operating well outside any lawful parameters, including any of those within the legal and regulated marijuana industry in Colorado.  Subsequent investigatory work identified several additional locations connected to this suspected illegal grow operation throughout Mesa County.  

The following individuals were arrested during the operation and were taken to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility and could face a myriad of marijuana-related charges.

  • Martin Acosta, 50, (03-13-69)
  • Armando Hernandez, 27, (09-06-91)
  • Armando Bandomo, 51, (03-15-67)
  • Yoan Esquarosa-Aguila, 40, (06-08-1978)
  • George Albino Gonzales, 71, (02-07-1948)
  • Alvaro Gonzalez-Molina, 43, (06-18-1975)

The following properties were searched during the operation:

  • 2800 block of C ½ Road, Grand Junction
  • 2800 block of C ½ Road, Grand Junction
  • 2800 block of C ½ Road, Grand Junction
  • 750 block of 33 Road, Clifton
  • 450 block of E. Scenic Drive, Grand Junction
  • 350 block of 29 Road, Grand Junction
  • 700 block of Hemlock Drive, Grand Junction
  • 300 block of S. Pine St., Fruita
  • 14300 block of B South Road, Glade Park
  • 200 block of N 16 ½ Road, Glade Park
  • 2400 block of S 21 ½  Road, Glade Park
  • 2500 block of S 21 ½  Road, Glade Park
  • 2000 block of 15 ½ Road, Glade Park

Wednesday’s operation culminates a four-month investigation by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. CBI agents are working closely with District Attorney Dan Rubinstein of the 21st Judicial District who will prosecute the case.

Joining the CBI, MCSO and GJPD in one of the Western Slope’s most comprehensive investigations involving an alleged illegal drug operation was the DEA, the Western Colorado Drug Task Force, Colorado State Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Fruita Police Department, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, and others.