Lindsay murder leads police to marijuana drug ring in Tulare

Illegal marijuana grow near murder last fall connects detectives to illegal marijuana organization in Tulare


TULARE – A Lindsay murder last October kicked off a seven-month investigation that brought down a Tulare drug ring.

On May 30, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and Tulare Police Department completed a seven-month investigation into a criminal organization operating illegal marijuana grows. Nearly 50 detectives served 12 search warrants throughout the Tulare area in connection to this organization. While serving the warrants, detectives arrested five men on numerous drug charges after finding 13 guns, 2,827 marijuana plants, 2,000 pounds of processed marijuana and $38,000 in cash.

The investigation began on Oct. 23, 2018, after detectives responded to a shooting in the area of Avenue 232 and Road 180 in Lindsay where Daniel Orta was found murdered. During the initial investigation, detectives discovered a large illegal marijuana operation on the property. Detectives recovered a large amount of marijuana in different stages of cultivation and an additional 200 lbs of marijuana.

Over the next seven months, Sheriff’s detectives, the Marijuana Investigation Team (M.I.T.) and detectives with the Tulare Police Department, identified 53-year-old Sigi Corral as a suspect who led an organization that cultivated several thousand marijuana plants throughout the Tulare area. During May 30 bust, detectives arrested Corral, as well as 37-year-old Jesus Delgado, 46-year-old Tomas Melendez, 25-year-old Omar Melendez, and 25-year-old Miguel Villa, all of Tulare.

This case remains under investigation. Anyone with information related to this case or the murder of Daniel Orta is encouraged to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at 559-733-6218.

Or anonymous information can be reported via Tipnow email: [email protected] text or voicemail at 559-725-4194 or download the Tipnow app for Android or Apple phones.

Sheriff’s Log

Wednesday, May 29

Detectives with the Sheriff’s T.A.G.N.E.T. (Tulare Area Gang and Narcotic Enforcement Team) Unit served a narcotics search warrant at a home in the 600 block of north Garden St. in Visalia. The search warrant was the result of an investigation into the sale of illegal drugs at the home. Detectives seized two pounds of Methamphetamine, five pounds of processed marijuana, one 45 70 Govt Rifle, ammunition, scales, packaging materials and more than $4,000 in cash, believed to be from drug sales.

Detectives arrested 26-year-old Moises Caballero of Visalia. He was charged with Possession of methamphetamine for sale, Maintaining a home for narcotic sales, Marijuana Cultivation and Child Endangerment. Caballero’s three-month-old, three-year-old and six-year-old children were living in the home at the time. Detectives also arrested 28-year-old Palemon Viera, a “Loco Park” southern gang member, from Visalia. He faces charges of Possession of Methamphetamine for sale, Maintaining a residence for narcotic sales, Marijuana cultivation, Possession of stolen property, Felon in possession of a firearm, Child endangerment and Gang enhancement.

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