We are pleased to announce the arrest of two Mountain View residents in connection with what is considered one of the largest seizures of opium poppy pods ever in the state of California, as well as the largest seizure ever of the plant in Mountain View’s history.
In October, Mountain View detectives received a tip that Jasvir Singh, 34, was processing and selling opium poppy pods out of his home on the 200 block of Monroe Drive. Singh, along with his wife, 45-year-old Donna Santo, were said to be importing large quantities of the poppy, known as papaver somniferum, from overseas. The pair would then store the shipments in lockers and subsequently grind the pods into a fine powder. That powder would then be sold so that it could be brewed into a highly potent tea.
This tea has several adverse effects, include nausea, extremely slowed breathing, vomiting, and at high doses, it can be lethal.
Over the next couple of months, our officers tirelessly investigated the claims and on Tuesday, detectives from the Crime Suppression Unit, the Crimes Against Persons Unit and the Cyber Crime Unit served a search warrant at Singh’s home.
During the course of the search warrant, detectives found roughly 50 pounds of opium poppy pods inside the home, along with over $30,000 in cash. A second search warrant was also executed on the lockers that Singh had been using to store the shipments of the opium poppy pods.
In that search, detectives located nearly 4,000 pounds of opium poppy pods, a street value of $400,000.
Singh and Santo were subsequently arrested on charges of possession of controlled substances for sale, a felony, as well as for child endangerment. They are currently being held without bail at the Santa Clara County Jail.
The success of this case was due to incredible teamwork and perseverance on the part of all those involved. This case took hours of investigation, with detectives working around the clock to substantiate the claims they had received three months prior.
“We’re all very proud of the outstanding detective work involved in putting together this long and complex investigation,” said Capt. Chris Hsiung. “We take great pride in proactively keeping our streets safe and preventing these drugs from reaching our community.”
We’d also like to take a moment to thank the Santa Clara County Regional Auto Theft Task Force (RATTF) for assisting us in this case. We truly appreciated it.