By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – Two California men face felony charges after a state drug agent stopped a cargo van that allegedly contained 5,300 marijuana plants on Interstate 40 in Canadian County.
Nuevo, Calif.’s Abraham Gallegos, 22, and Luis Lamberto Encinas Borbon, 21, were charged July 30 in Canadian County District Court with endeavoring to cultivate a controlled substance.
The crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum $50,000 fine.
Prosecutors allege Gallegos and Borbon violated Oklahoma state law by “knowingly transporting” marijuana plants on I-40 through Canadian County “for the purpose of unlawfully cultivating” the plants in an Oklahoma-based marijuana grow operation.
The allegations against the two defendants are detailed in an arrest warrant affidavit signed by Darin Morgan of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.
The OBN agent, at about 3:10 p.m. March 3, pulled over an eastbound Enterprise rental cargo van with a California tag during a traffic stop at I-40-mile marker 121.
Gallegos, who was driving the van, initially told the agent he was transporting “chickens and stuff” from California to land owned by his girlfriend’s uncle in Oklahoma.
Gallegos also said he “has property out here and he grows legal weed.”
He added that the “grow was up and running and all legal,” according to the affidavit.
Agent Morgan then spoke with Borbon, who said they were coming to Oklahoma from California to “drop off” some marijuana plants.
With Gallegos’ permission to inspect the plants, the OBN agent looked inside several extra-large Home Depot boxes in the back of the van. Each contained flats of marijuana clones.
HEADED TO ELMORE CITY
Both men told Morgan they were taking the clones to the grow location in Elmore City.
Morgan later spoke and texted by phone with Gallegos’ girlfriend, who reportedly told him there were 5,300 marijuana plants in the Enterprise truck.
“She confirmed that her uncle had Gallegos and Borbon pick up the marijuana clones and transporting them to Oklahoma to his grow,” the agent wrote in his affidavit.
The girlfriend reportedly told Morgan that her uncle “wanted to know if it would be possible to send someone with a transporter license to pick up the plants in the next 30 minutes.”
She also texted pictures of a commercial grower’s license and medical marijuana license approval letter for Exclusive Organics LLC in Elmore City.
But instead of the marijuana plants heading to the grow operation, OBN agents secured them at a warehouse as evidence.
Transporting marijuana plants – from which a controlled dangerous substance may be derived – to cultivate in an Oklahoma-based marijuana grow operation is “in contravention of state law,” the Canadian County District Attorney’s Office alleges.
Canadian County Special Judge Charles Gass has issued warrants for Gallegos’ and Borbon’s arrests. Bond is set at $5,000 for each defendant.