Over 500 Pounds of Marijuana Seized During Search; Suspect Arrested for Child Endangerment

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OROVILLE —

A suspect in Oroville was arrested Dec. 9 on numerous counts of marijuana possession as well as for child endangerment after police found over 500 pounds of pot in his home, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.

The Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force, with assistance from the Oroville Police Department and the Butte County Children’s Services, served a search warrant for marijuana and child endangerment at 1 Berry Court where they found the suspect, 46-year-old Tong Thao, three children and other individuals.

While searching the residence, police found 533 pounds of dried marijuana bud in processing, nine growing plants and over $40,000 in cash. Officers also found one pound of processed marijuana in the children’s bedroom closet.

Following the arrest, the Narcotics Task Force served another search warrant for Thao’s safe deposit box at a local bank and found $85,820 in cash.

The children, ages 5, 9 and 13, are thought to have been used to assist in the processing of the drugs. They were placed in the custody of a CSD social worker, according to officials.

Thao was arrested for six felonies including cultivation of marijuana, child endangerment and using minors to process marijuana for sale.