Agriculture · Business · Visalia/Tulare

Cops bust a nut thief over 42k pounds in missing pistachios

A Central Valley truck driver has been busted for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of pounds of pistachios and reselling them.

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office arrested Alberto Montemayor last week and booked him in the Tulare County jail following an investigation.

Touchstone Pistachio Company, owned by Fresno’s Assemi family, conducted a routine audit in June and found that about 42,000 pounds of pistachios were missing, leading to an investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. 

Investigators looked into leads in Fresno County and Kern County and found the trailer that contained the pistachios had been moved from Montemayor’s lot in Delano to a nearby lot. 

Detectives then discovered that the pistachios were being siphoned from 2,000 pound sacks into smaller bags for resale. 

The sheriff’s office delivered the stolen pistachios back to Touchstone. 

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department at (559) 733-6218 or send anonymous information by sending a text or email to

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at