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Sonora Pot Bust

Sonora, CA– Tuolumne County authorities arrested two men after finding over 70 pounds of marijuana at their Sonora residence.


According to the Sheriff’s Office, agents from the Tuolumne County Narcotics Team (TNT) served a search warrant at 11290 Damin Road Wednesday. Upon arrival TNT agents found 63-year-old Peter Anthony DeMartini, and 54-year-old Robert Frederick Ballash Jr. processing recently harvested marijuana.


A search of the buildings and property revealed 74 pounds of processed marijuana and numerous firearms. A large portion of the marijuana was packaged and placed into plastic 55 gallon drums and buried on the property.


TNT says the marijuana has an estimated street value of approximately $180,000.


While both men had medical marijuana recommendations, officials say a marijuana sales operation was clearly evident and drastically exceeded any realm of medical marijuana allowances.


This incident is one of many recent arrests in the county related to the cultivation of marijuana. To read a related story, click here.