3 men arrested in connection with marijuana grow operation east of Santa Maria

Detectives from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties on Monday destroyed more than 5,400 marijuana plants that were found inside San Luis Obispo County near Foxen Canyon Road.

Three men have been arrested in connection with the operation, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars.

Nazario Ramos-Torres, 51, and Saul Sandoval Torres, 28, were booked into Santa Barbara County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail on suspicion of cultivating marijuana and criminal conspiracy, both felonies.

Humberto Trejo Ceja, 30, was also booked into the county jail and is being held on a no-bail immigration hold, according to a news release from the department.

It’s unknown where the men, all of whom were born in Mexico, are currently living.

The marijuana plants were discovered after a Santa Barbara deputy noticed a suspicious vehicle parked on the 4000 block of Foxen Canyon Road, east of Santa Maria, about 9 p.m. Sunday.

He noticed two men next to the rear of the vehicle with a large, military-style duffel bag on the ground, according to the news release. He then saw a third man inside the vehicle.

A search revealed two duffel bags of freshly purchased food supplies, and equipment and supplies typically found in marijuana grow operations, officials said. Santa Barbara County narcotics detectives then found a large marijuana garden nearby, and contacted San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s officials.

By Monday afternoon, officials had eradicated more than 5,400 plants.