A large scale marijuana drug cultivation operation was shut down on Tuesday, Sept. 2 in Schurz.
The investigation resulted in the seizure of over 110 marijuana plants at the Road Runner Motel on the outskirts of the small reservation.
The search warrant was applied for by Walker River Paiute Tribe and was executed with the help of Mineral County Sheriff’s Office and Nevada Highway Patrol when it was found that the motel was on patented county land and within 361 feet from the entrance of the motel to the entrance to the Schurz Elementary School.
Due to the close proximity of the school, a “code red” was called just minutes prior to the execution of the warrant where a thorough room to room search of the should be vacant motel was conducted. Children were locked down for their safety until the search was completed. (After the all-clear, a deputy from Mineral County Sheriff’s Office contacted the school to lift the “code red.”)
At the muster point, where officers from all three organizations gathered, an eerie calm was noticed before they sped away to secure the premises. This calmness carried throughout the whole investigation as the trained peace officers busted through the battered doors of the motel.
Mineral County Sheriff Stewart Handte says the investigation resulted in the seizure of over 140 plants (in various stages of growth), more than 100 pounds of dried and bagged marijuana, hash oil, guns, cell phones, marijuana cultivation equipment and more.
The collaborated effort between Walker River Police Department, Nevada Highway Patrol and Mineral County Sheriff’s Office allowed the officers to execute the warrant in a precise manner, allowing officers to swarm the “vacant” property(ies).
Located out back of the motel, behind a poorly constructed wooden fence, a grove of more than 70 plants, in many different growing containers were observed. The fence had been lined with silver tarps to help with the cultivation process.
Searches continued into an abandoned restaurant, next to the Road Runner Motel, where many smaller plants were found, in various stages of growth, under grow lights. Potting supplies and equipment could be found at both locations.
The motel was riddled with marijuana in all forms, from plants to packaged, with near 100 pounds of dried cannabis found in bags and hanging from racks. Stashed in a Pop Tart box were 12 vials of hash oil.
Two large resident pit bulls were on sight. After breaking free of a chain and its large collar, one of the animals was shot dead after aggressively trying to attack a deputy. The other dog was controlled by the use of pepper spray. Later, a third dog would be found within one of the rooms. Mineral County Animal Control took possession of the animals.
Though the land resides within the boundaries of the Walker River Paiute Tribe, because it is on patented county land, it too will be seized in the raid. Mineral County Sheriff’s Office took control of all evidence found at the properties.
Handte stated after the raid, “No. 1 – There is zero tolerance for drugs within Mineral County. No. 2 – Teamwork gets the job done especially with all these allied agencies. The process takes a lengthy time. From execution of the search warrant, to going from room to room, to processing the evidence, it takes teamwork. No. 3 – The safety of our children was priority. We didn’t know if there were people in the motel, possibly people with guns. Because of this, we proceeded in a safe and tactical manner and teamwork. We will continue forth.”
At the time of the raid, no arrests were made, but information recovered from the scene and from sources is being processed with felony warrants to be issued.
At present time, a street value for the marijuana and hash oil had yet to be determined.