Compliance Teams Raid Cultivation And Processing Sites In Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara County law enforcement raided a cannabis cultivation site and a related processing site last week, arresting one individual.

On Tuesday, June 4, the Sheriff’s Compliance Response Team assisted the Santa Barbara County Cannabis Compliance Team in the execution of a search warrant at an unlicensed cannabis grow site in the 4200 block of Carpinteria Avenue in the City of Carpinteria.

Multiple cultivation rooms were discovered at the site as well as areas for drying and cloning.

Authorities seized more than 1,900 plants from the location as well as five pounds of processed cannabis.

Detectives proceeded to serve a second warrant at a location on Monte Cristo Lane in Montecito where they discovered 15 Armenian workers trimming cannabis which had come from the cultivation site in Carpinteria.

The workers were found to have been hired by a contractor from outside the county, though it was unclear at the time if the operation was illegal as the operator could not be reached.

Detectives determined that the workers were not being held against their will and did not appear to be victims of human trafficking.

One worker, 41-year-old Vardges Babayan of Glendale, was arrested after a loaded Glock handgun was found concealed on his person.

Authorities seized approximately 100 pounds of processed cannabis from the location as well as packaging and sales paraphernalia.

Following an investigation, 44-year-old Montecito resident, Forrest Buchanan was cited for cultivation and sales of cannabis without a state license.