|Shelley Lubben's Balch Park Road residence|
In May 2015, Shelley's then-husband, Garrett, purchased the 598,000 sq. ft. property on Balch Park Road. Shelley soon began an affair with a worker at the ranch, Joe Valley, while her husband was away. Garrett later filed for divorce and the property was deeded to Shelley in July 2016.
With creditors snapping at her heels, she immediately began looking for a buyer.
|Discover Card filed suit against Shelley Lubben in Porterville in 2017|
Lubben and Joe Valley stayed on as tenants, and Valley was arrested Nov. 7 after police say he ran down a cyclist on the way home while under the influence of alcohol. He is currently in a Visalia jailhouse awaiting trial.
Lubben's new landlord, Sirjoe Carmona has an interesting background, which includes a farm labor contracting business, and a 2014 arrest in Visalia for possession of a large quantity of marijuana for sales, and cultivation of marijuana. 70 lbs. of processed marijuana was confiscated along with 233 plants.
The marijuana grow operation was located at his residence, 1314 N. Divisadero in Visalia.
Recently, Tulare County has sought to inspect his property, going so far as to file for an abatement warrant.
Presumably the authorities expect to find something there.
Springville and nearby Porterville residents say they had suspected that the Lubben Ranch property on Balch Park Road was being used to grow marijuana long before Lubben sold it.
Interestingly, Shelley's ex-husband, Garrett, confirms that she acquired a medical marijuana card, after years of publicly decrying the smoking of cannabis.
TAG, you're it
Illegal marijuana grow sites have plagued the Springville area for some time.
In July 2017, Detectives with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office TAGNET (Tulare Area Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team) Unit conducted overflights in the Springville mountain area for illegal clandestine marijuana grow sites.
During the overflight, Detectives located large clandestine marijuana grow sites in the Wishon and Cabbage Head area above Springville.
On August 15, Detectives with the TAGNET Unit conducted an operation to eradicate the illegal marijuana grow site with the assistance of the U.S. Forest Service and CAMP Task Force.
While eradicating the illegal grow sites, Detectives located numerous chemicals, a large amount of trash and the disruption of the natural waterways in the area. Detectives also located a camp site, however; they were unable to locate any information on the identity of the suspect(s) responsible for the illegal marijuana grow.
During the operation, 27,177 marijuana plants were eradicated and destroyed.
Will Tulare County soon find another grow operation in Springville?
The investigation into illegal marijuana grow sites is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218 or they can remain anonymous by calling TIPNOW at (559) 725-4194 or send an email to email@example.com.