Paicines – Unified Narcotic Enforcement Team agents arrested two men and seized a half million dollars in marijuana Wednesday during a raid of a South San Benito County ranch.
UNET agents raided the rural ranch in the 25,000 block of Panoche Road after spotting the marijuana grow operation during surveillance operations earlier this month. Agents seized 2,762 marijuana plants with an estimated value of $524,000, UNET Cmdr. Mark Colla said Thursday night. Two men suspected of being responsible for the mid-sized grow operation were arrested on drug charges, but a third suspect fled on foot. The men had tried to run from the ranch house and one had dropped a loaded rifle before fleeing, Colla said.
Michael Hennagan, 57, of Dos Palos, was arrested on felony charges of suspicion of growing marijuana, conspiracy and possession of an illegal assault rifle. Hennagan is believed to be the nephew of the property owner, according to police reports. The owner has not been identified. The ranch foreman, 36-year-old Francisco Tovar, was also arrested. The Gustine resident was arrested on felony charges of suspicion of growing marijuana, conspiracy and illegal gun possession.
Inside the house, agents found and seized an AK-47 assault rifle and a shotgun. The serial number on the AK-47 had been “obliterated,” according to incident reports. They also confiscated a loaded pistol from Tovar’s pick-up truck.