STATE APPROVES $12 MILLION FOR NEW YUCCA VALLEY FIRE STATION

The Town of Yucca Valley will receive a new fire station thanks to $12 million in state funding recently approved in the 2021-2022 state budget package. According to a county press release, the $12 million in funds were requested by State Assemblyman Chad Mayes, whose district includes Yucca Valley, to address community concerns regarding public safety from residents, business owners, and local officials, including county Supervisor Dawn Rowe. The San Bernardino County Fire Protection District will be responsible for using the funds. Details regarding the future location of the station and project timeline have not yet been determined, however San Bernardino County Fire Chief Dan Munsey stated that the fire district will be working closely with officials from the town of Yucca Valley over the next few months to identify a suitable location that will maximize the benefit of the new fire station, including reduced response times for outlying Morongo Basin communities.

TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ACCUSED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER

We have limited information regarding a Twentynine Palms man who was arrested in Riverside County, accused of attempted murder. According to Sheriff’s reports, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Albert Gonzalez, 25, of Twentynine Palms. Gonzalez was arrested for investigation of attempted murder and transferred to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s office. On Monday (July 12) around 3 p.m., he was booked into the West Valley Detention Center with his bail set at $1,000,000. The investigation is ongoing. Z107.7 will provide additional information as it becomes available.

OBERNOLTE TACKLEs MARIJUANA CULTIVATION ON UP CLOSE SHOW

When Congressman Jay Obernolte was the guest on the Z107.7 Up Close Show last Friday (July 9), he wasted no time tackling one of the biggest problems plaguing our desert communities; illegal marijuana cultivation. Cassidy Taylor has the recap…

Obernolte said it is time to get the DEA involved in the situation. Why?

Jay Obernolte

“First of all, when you’re doing it illegally, that means you’re not afraid to break other laws. So, they’re stealing water lots of times that they either tap into a water main or they drill their own well, which means there’s less water for everyone else. Many times, they’re stealing power. They tap into a power line or a meter and that raises the cost for everyone else since those costs are shared. They use banned pesticides that aren’t legal anywhere here in the United States and not only does that cause problems for the people that come in contact with those plants, but also those pesticides end up in our groundwater.” – Congressman Jay Obernolte

Deputies seized 3,901 marijuana plants at five locations in Wonder Valley Thursday. Courtesy photo

Cultivation is only half the problem, according to Obernolte.

“This is a, a situation of the state’s own making, because when they legalize the cultivation of marijuana, they also decriminalize possession of marijuana, and illegal cultivation of marijuana to the point where it’s only a misdemeanor. And in most cases, these people only pay a civil fine, it’s about $500. And they just count that up as the cost of doing business.” – Congressman Jay Obernolte

The classification of cultivation as a misdemeanor also poses problems in prosecuting those behind it.

“For example, they can’t get wiretap authorization for prosecution of those crimes, they have to try and link it to a larger crime, such as money laundering, to be able to do that. So, what we need to do is we need to create a new felony crime for large scale cultivation of marijuana without a license.” – Congressman Jay Obernolte

Deputies raided this illegal marijuana grow at Redhill Road/ Bermuda Avenue in Twentynine Palms Thursday, April 29. Courtesy photo

TWO MORONGO BASIN MEN ACCUSED OF SELLING METH IN LANDERS

Two Morongo Basin men were arrested Monday (July 12) accused of possession and sale of methamphetamine. According to Sheriff’s reports, Deputies conducted a traffic stop on a 2006 Nisan at the intersection of Reche Road and Fortuna Avenue in Landers. Deputies determined the driver, James Morrison, 50, of Yucca Valley was on felony probation and the passenger, Adam Webster, 33, of Landers was a career criminal. During a probation compliance check, deputies located more than 50 grams of suspected methamphetamine. James Morrison and Adam Webster were both arrested for investigation of sale or transportation of methamphetamine. Morrison was also arrested on a $250,000 warrant for possession of methamphetamine for sale. They were booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with Morrison’s bail set at $75,000 and Webster’s bail set at $100,000.

MORONGO VALLEY WOMAN ACCUSED OF STABBING A MAN AND ASSAULTING A DEPUTY WITH HER HANDCUFFS

A Morongo Valley woman was arrested Monday night (July 12) accused of stabbing a man then assaulting a deputy with her handcuffs during a foot pursuit. According to Sheriff’s reports, Deputies received a call from a man who said a woman he allowed to stay in his home for the night, later identified as Jordan Harmon, 27, was running around with a knife in his home and that he was worried about her physical safety. When the victim attempted to take the knife, Harmon stabbed him in the hand. The victim was able to take the knife from Harman before she ran west into the desert.

Deputies responded and located Harmon in the 48500 block of Bird of Paradise Drive, taking her to Hi Desert Medical center for a prebooking medical screening. During the screening, Harmon slipped her cuffs in front of her and fled the hospital on foot. She was detained by deputies, but while moving her cuffs back to her rear, Harmon pulled free of the deputy and used the handcuffs as a weapon. Deputies detained Harmon and took her to the Morongo Basin Jail. Jordan Harmon was arrested for investigation of assault causing great bodily injury, assaulting an officer with a deadly weapon, and resisting arrest. She was booked into the West Valley Detention Center with her bail set at $50,000.