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July 23, 2014

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Four charged after $7 million Vegas pot operation busted

Marijuana bust

Federal charges have been filed against four people for allegedly growing marijuana in one of the largest seizures ever in Las Vegas.

The charges were filed after federal and local law enforcement officials searched a warehouse near Interstate 15 and West Desert Inn Road in June and discovered 2,000 marijuana plants, said U.S. Attorney Greg Brower of Nevada.

An indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Wednesday charges 40-year-old Jeffrey Talley, 41-year-old Alicia Talley, 35-year-old Jim Castaneda, Jr., 51-year-old Craig Huber, all of Las Vegas, with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute.

Jeffrey and Alicia Talley are also charged with money laundering conspiracy, Brower said.

The four were arrested Aug. 6 and appeared before a federal magistrate judge Aug. 7. Jeffrey Talley is in federal detention until trial. The others were released on personal recognizance bonds.

From about April 2004 through Aug. 6, the four allegedly grew about 2,000 marijuana plants and planned to distribute at least 100 pounds of marijuana, according to the court records.

On June 25, Drug Enforcement Administration agents and detectives and Metro Police officers took a search warrant to 3350 Pinks Place, the location of the warehouse. Inside, officers and agents found the marijuana plants growing in six rooms. The plants' value could have netted $7 million worth of marijuana for distributing, court records indicated.

The rooms where the plants grew contained equipment such as humidifiers, 1,000-watt light bulbs, oscillating fans and water pumps.

Jeffrey and Alicia Talley made 10 cash deposits into their bank accounts between March 31 and April 24, each in amounts less than $10,000 for a total of $61,690 in an attempt to avoid filing currency transaction reports to the IRS.

The indictment also alleges that if the four are convicted they will forfeit up to $7.5 million in cash and properties. Federal agents seized on Aug. 6 about $500,000 in property at the Talley home, including a Kenworth tractor truck, a customized Kenworth motor home/truck, aa power generator, a chopper motorcycle, a Chevrolet Suburban and a racing trailer.

The case in being investigated by the DEA, IRS, Metro Police, Henderson Police and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kishan Nair and Lucas Foletta.

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