MINERAL COUNTY, Nevada - A Sacramento man well known for clogging the California court system with frivolous lawsuits faces arrest on drug charges following a raid at a motel he owns in the Nevada desert.
Mineral County Sheriff Stewart Handte said a no-bail arrest warrant would likely be issued Friday for Raghvendra "Raj" Singh, 52, after authorities seized a half-million dollars' worth of marijuana plants, processed marijuana and hashish at the Roadrunner Motel on Highway 95 north of Hawthorne.
"Mr. Singh and I had quite a lengthy conversation yesterday evening," Handte said. "His statements to me are indicative of someone who knew about marijuana being grown on his property."
Handte said cultivation of marijuana is illegal in Mineral County, and the presence of an elementary school 361 feet from the motel adds a felony enhancement.
Mineral County property records show Singh purchased the run-down motel for $105,000 in October 2013.
Deputy county appraiser Debra Collins said Singh refuses to pay his property taxes, insisting the motel is part of the Walker River Paiute reservation. County records show a total of $2,530 in taxes due.
Walker River tribal police actually initiated the drug investigation and assisted in the raid, Handte said.
Although the 10-acre property is on the reservation, it has been patented and is subject to local taxes and Nevada state law, the sheriff explained.
"I take this personally because of its location near a school," Handte said. "And I guarantee you that if Mr. Singh decides to go on the run, the Mineral County Sheriff's Department will be the prime agency to take him into custody wherever that may be."
The motel is part of an extensive portfolio of properties Singh owns that are held in the name of his wife, Kiran Rawat, or various trusts.
An analysis of tax records shows most of the roughly two dozen properties Singh owns in the Sacramento area were bought out of foreclosure and paid for with cash.
He has frequently battled city and county officials over their efforts to bring the properties up to code -- and a fire in one of his boarded-up houses killed a woman in December who had been living there with Singh's consent.
Singh faces a separate criminal investigation in Sacramento for allegedly forging an attorney's signature on legal documents in an effort to circumvent restrictions imposed on so-called vexatious litigants.