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Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department
Saturday February 12th, 2022 :: 10:11 a.m. PST


Sheriff’s Offices Announces Results of Lengthy Narcotics Investigation

Modesto, CA - 


In February of 2021, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit (SIU) received numerous tips regarding several large-scale illegal marijuana cultivation operations throughout rural areas of Stanislaus County.  


Through further investigation, detectives learned multiple properties containing large-scale illegal marijuana cultivation operations were owned and/or operated by the same group of suspects.  


Investigators found many of these properties had illegal firearms, dangerous illegal chemicals which are toxic to the environment and its water supply, as well as abhorrent living conditions for the workers tending to the grow sites.  These cultivation sites also had a major affect on the surrounding communities with heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic, dangerous armed suspects in the neighborhood, and the strong, far-reaching odor of marijuana.   


Ultimately, SIU served search warrants at 20 locations throughout Stanislaus and Merced 

Counties.  These search warrants resulted in the following seizures: 75,660 marijuana plants, 19,852.5 pounds of processed marijuana, seven firearms, 18 liters of illegal toxic chemicals, 10 vehicles, $151,057 in cash and 36 total arrests.  SIU detectives believed this was an elaborate, multi-million dollar marijuana cultivation, transportation and sales operation.  


Five Turlock residents were determined to be the primary leaders of the operation.  On February 8, 2022, four brothers who owned the majority of the properties, identified as Kulbir Sandhu, 41, Balwinder Sandhu, 45, Bhupinder Sandhu, 42, and Gurinder Sandhu, 39, were safely taken into custody during the service of a search warrant.  


Specific charges included the following felonies: 1) maintaining a place for unlawfully selling a controlled substance, 2) possession of cannabis for the purpose of sales, 3) cultivation of cannabis and 4) criminal conspiracy charges.  


Cristian Ayala-Farias, 24, is also wanted for several related charges.  He remains outstanding and whereabouts are still unknown.  Follow-up is still being conducted in this investigation, and additional suspects will be arrested as they are identified.  The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office will ultimately review their cases for filing and issuance.    


Please contact the Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers should you have additional details to aid detectives.  Callers can reach out to Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636.  Tipsters can also submit tips at or by using the mobile app “P3” which may result in your eligibility for a cash reward.  


All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department
250 Hackett Road
Modesto, CA 95358

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 209-567-4401

SGT Luke Schwartz
Patrol Ops - SOC
[email protected]

250 Hackett Rd
Modesto, CA 95358

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