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El Paso County Sheriff’s Office identifies suspect arrested after raid on illegal grow operation

Posted at 6:31 PM, Oct 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 20:32:23-04

Caleb Moraida

BLACK FOREST – The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office identified the man they arrested Wednesday night in connection to a “sophisticated” illegal grow operation in Black Forest.

Deputies arrested 18-year-old Caleb Moraida in connection to the grow, where Colorado Springs Police officers and El Paso County deputies seized a total of 271 marijuana plants, heroin, methamphetamine, cash, body armor and 14 guns from the home.

Deputies said they also found evidence of a butane hash oil extraction lab inside the home along with eight separate grow areas on the property, located near the Cathedral Pines trailhead in Black Forest.

Those numbers are down from what El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder told reporters Wednesday night at a news conference. Elder originally said there were at least 350 plants.

Elder also said three people were taken into custody Wednesday night and said a woman was let go after questioning. El Paso County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Natalie Sosa told News 5 only one suspect, Moraida, was arrested following the raid.

Sosa also said Moraida was arrested for an outstanding traffic arrest warrant, but deputies said additional criminal charges are pending related to the grow operation.