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Alleged Theft of Broccoli Seeds Lands Santa Maria Woman In Hot Water

A Santa Maria woman is facing felony charges for allegedly attempting to sell broccoli seeds stolen from a Nipomo business. Click to view larger
A Santa Maria woman is facing felony charges for allegedly attempting to sell broccoli seeds stolen from a Nipomo business.  (SLO Sheriff’s Department)

A leafy-green plant not typically found at the center of a criminal case has landed a Santa Maria woman in legal trouble.

Blanca Paz Trejo, 21, is facing felony charges for allegedly attempting to sell broccoli seeds taken from a Nipomo company, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department.

Trejo was arrested following an investigation into agricuture theft from Growers Transplanting Inc. on Dawn Road, sheriff's spokesman Tony Cipolla said Thursday.

Last month, Growers Transplanting reported the theft of broccoli seeds, Cipolla said.

During the investigation by deputies from the Rural Crime Unit, a worker received notification that an ex-employee was selling the same type of broccoli seed under an alias Facebook account. 

Deputies contacted the former employee through social media to arrange to buy the broccoli seeds. 

"Upon arrival at the arranged location, the Rural Crime Deputies inspected the seeds and noticed that the lot and batch numbers were a match to the stolen seeds,” Cippola said.

Deputies searched Trejo's Santa Maria home and located the original boxes in which the broccoli seeds had been stored, he added. 

The estimated value of the seeds is $22,750, Cipolla said. 

The seeds were returned to Growers Transplanting Inc., and felony charges of possession of stolen property were submitted to the District Attorney's Office.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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