ST. GEORGE – On August 12, the Washington County Area Drug and Gang Task Force and the DEA, along with several other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies executed an operation in the Central area near Pine Valley Mountain where marijuana was being cultivated.
Approximately 10,700 marijuana plants were eradicated and over 500 pounds of processed marijuana was seized. One adult male was apprehended without incident, arrested, and booked into the Washington County Jail.
A Mexican National male from Las Vegas named Francisco Gomez-Talavera, 27, was encountered at the grow site and is suspected to be affiliated with a transnational drug trafficking organization. He is a brother to the suspects arrested last week at the Pinto Springs grow site who were identified as Rito Gomez-Talavera, 30, and Alberto Gomez-Talavera, 23, also from Las Vegas. As a result of an ongoing investigation, detectives with the Washington County Area Drug and Gang Task Force determined supplies were being delivered to the grow site by Gomez-Talavera and he was apprehended while dropping off supplies.
“We know the Pinto and the Central grows were related and Francisco was supplying them both,” said Lt. David Moss, Washington County Area Drug and Gang Task Force Commander
Approximately 25 law enforcement officials participated in the operation from different agencies including: Washington County Area Drug and Gang Task Force, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George Police Department, Washington County Search and Rescue, DEA, US Forest Service, Utah Department of Public Safety, and Pine Valley Fire.
Francisco Gomez-Talavera, 27, was arrested and booked into jail on the following charges: cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana. His bail was set at $10,000.00.