Investigators say suspects stole more than $1,000 worth of marijuana from RAD Nursery

A 19-year-old Rainier teen is in jail on charges of second-degree burglary, criminal mischief, first-degree theft and criminal trespass after more than $1,000 worth of marijuana was stolen from a nursery in Rainier.

Mendoza Nathaniel Mendoza was arrested along with two juveniles Monday, Nov. 6 after investigators with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office determined Mendoza and the two minors were suspects responsible for the loss of $1,000 or more in marijuana from RAD Nursery Products in the 27000 block of Old Rainier Road.

The theft was reported around 3:30 p.m. Nov. 6, but an indictment against Mendoza indicates the burglary and theft happened Saturday, Oct. 28.

A complaint of trespassing at the same location was called in shortly before 5 p.m. on Oct. 28, but no arrest was made at the time.

"There was a subsequent investigation that took time to produce leads," Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson stated Monday.

Dickerson noted evidence left at the scene led sheriff's deputies to identify the three suspects. The stolen marijuana was not recovered.

Mendoza remained in jail on $5,125 bail, as of Monday afternoon.

RAD Nursery operates out of a 24,000-square-foot building that was initially constructed as a children's indoor soccer arena, then later retrofitted for use as an industrial tree bark packaging facility, county planning records indicate.

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