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Murder investigation leads to discovery of 2,000 lbs. of processed marijuana

Posted at 2:03 PM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 17:03:48-04

LINDSAY, Calif. — A murder investigation led authorities to 2,000 pounds of processed marijuana, over 2,000 marijuana plants, and over $38,000 in cash.

According to the Tulare County Sheriff's Office (TCSO), on October 23, 2018, detectives responded to a shooting in the area of Avenue 232 and Road 180 in Lindsay where Daniel Orta was found murdered. TCSO says during the initial investigation, detectives discovered a large illegal marijuana operation on the property. Detectives recovered a "large amount" of marijuana in different stages of cultivation and an additional 200 pounds of marijuana, according to the Tulare County Sheriff's Office.

Over the next seven months, TCSO detectives, the Marijuana Investigation Team (M.I.T.) and detectives with the Tulare Police Department identified 53-year-old Sigi Corral as a suspect who led an organization that cultivated several thousand marijuana plants throughout the Tulare area.

Sigi Corral.jpg
Sigi Corral

On May 30, TCSO says nearly 50 detectives from the Sheriff's Office, Tulare Police Department and agents with the Department of Fish and Wildlife served 12 warrants throughout the Tulare area in connection to this organization.

TCSO says 13 guns, $38,000 in cash, 2,2827 marijuana plants, and 2,000 pounds of processed marijuana were found.

During the execution of the warrants, 37-year-old Jesus Delgado, 46-year-old Tomas Melendez, 25-year-old Omar Melendez, and 25-year-old Miguel Villa, all of Tulare, were arrested. All were later booked on numerous drug offenses, according to TCSO.

Jesus Delgado.jpg
Jesus Delgado
Tomas Melendez.jpg
Tomas Melendez
Omar Melendez.jpg
Omar Melendez
Miguel Villa.jpg
Miguel Villa

TCSO says the case remains under investigation. Anyone with information related to this case or the murder of Daniel Orta is encouraged to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218. Or anonymous information can be reported via Tipnow email: text or voicemail at 559-725-4194 or download the Tipnow app for Android or Apple phones.