Undercover sting nets $430k in pot

$430 thousand dollars in pot seized.

LEXINGTON COUNTY (WACH) " An eight month long undercover operation conducted by the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) resulted in the seizure of 51 pounds of marijuana packaged for distribution and 319 marijuana plants according to the sheriff TMs department.

Officials say six people were arrested on charges of trafficking marijuana, manufacturing marijuana and conspiring to manufacture marijuana. Sheriff James Metts says the marijuana growing operation was spread out among several homes near Batesburg, Gilbert and Leesville. Search warrants were served at the properties Tuesday.

Those arrested include Juan Manuel Padreda, 47, Osniel Cruz Padreda, 22, Ruben Cabrera, 38, Carlos Hernandez, 60, Oscar Rodriguez, 44 and Benita Pavon Roman, 47.

Authorities also say two of the men arrested entered the United States illegally from Mexico and detainers have been placed on them pending further action from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The combined street value of the packaged marijuana and plants is $430,000.

Sheriff Metts said the case remains under investigation and that addition arrests may be made. Officers are continuing to investigate where marijuana from the indoor marijuana growing operations was sold and how the marijuana was distributed.

Metts asks anyone with information about indoor marijuana growing operations to call the Lexington County Sheriff TMs Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.