A father and son were discovered to have been running a large scale marijuana growing and drug trafficking operation in the East Bay. Steven Ortega, Sr. and his son, Steven Ortega, Jr., were found to be the leaders of the organization that was being investigated for over a year.
In what the DEA called, “Operation Disco Dazed,” 14 locations were targeted and over 100 pounds of marijuana, 3,600 plants, $400,000 in cash, 36 guns, and a grenade launcher were seized.
The two men owned a chain of hydroponics stores, which they then used as a front to provide marijuana growers in their operation with equipment in exchange for a cut of their profits.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Anthony Williams said of the investigation, “This large-scale marijuana-trafficking organization set up shop in several neighborhoods and communities. Through diligent efforts of law enforcement, they have been dismantled and the nuisance removed.”
Charges against the father and son will include: manufacture of and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Should they be convicted, each could face a life in prison. Their minimum sentence could be 10 years in prison as well as a $4 million fine.
In addition to the father and son who led the organization, 17 other people were arrested as a part of this Operation, including Ortega Sr.’s wife and other son.