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Suspects arrested for marijuana grow operation at Claremont home

Claremont police arrested Joseph Cassani 33, and Ericka Klenk, 25, on charges of cultivation of marijuana after discovering approximately 500 live plants in a home on the 1600 block of Clemson Ave. in Claremont.

Claremont police officers, with the assistance from the Azusa police department major crimes unit, executed a search warrant on Wednesday, May 23, after an investigation revealed a potential marijuana cultivation operation occurring at the home.

Police discovered what is described as an “active and sophisticated marijuana grow operation” with approximately 500 plants in separate grow rooms. Along with the live plants, an extensive amount of processed marijuana, cut plants and cash were also found.

Recreational marijuana sales became legal in California on January 1, 2018, after the passage of Proposition 64. The law permits adults 21 and older to buy one ounce of cannabis per day but only from a state-licensed recreational dispensary. State law mandates that individuals can only possess 28.5 grams of marijuana at any give time (or one ounce).

For those who grow pot at home, they can possess no more than six plants at a time and can grow it only indoors where it cannot be seen.

In October of 2016, the Claremont City Council voted unanimously to pass an urgency ordinance amending an existing section of the Claremont Municipal Code to prohibit commercial sale and delivery of marijuana within the city limits.

Mr. Cassani and Ms. Klenk were arrested for cultivation of marijuana, possession for sales and Claremont municipal code violations. Criminal charges are pending as the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding this case should contact the Claremont Police Department at (909) 399-5411.

—Kathryn Dunn

editor@claremont-courier.com