San Bernadino Police seized 35,000 marijuana plants from an illegal grow operation which law enforcement claims was bringing in thousands of dollars a month. After being tipped off by neighbors, investigators looked into the once abandoned four story property for over two months. Upon receiving a warrant, police searched the building finding 18,000 pounds of cannabis in total. Eight individuals working at the facility were detained by police but no charges have been filed. San Bernadino Police Lt. Mike Madden said, “In my 26 years, it was the biggest grow that I’ve ever seen… different rooms for different processes and hydration, filtration and ventilation. It was pretty extensive.”
Reports say the grow was so large the monthly electrical bill exceeded a staggering $67,000. Although Los Angeles has effectively legalized recreational cannabis, proper licensing and permits must be obtained. Property owner, 43 year old Stephanie Smith is currently under investigation but has not been arrested or charged with any crimes. If she is the property owner, she will inevitably see some pushback due to the large scale precautions surrounding the perimeter of the facility. The location in question had “fortified doors” as well as other extensive surveillance measures in place. It’s a surprise at all that the workers had not foreseen the police upon arrival.
With such a large amount being grown, and the bill being so costly for electrical maintenance, one can only wonder what took so long for anyone to notice the drastic change. Moreover, if there was output of sales, where did the money come from to cultivate the grow and where did it go?
Due to legal issues with how the money was generated, it also reinforces the issue of state and federal laws on money being placed in banks. If millions were being brought in, it had to go somewhere. Police are still trying to determine where the marijuana was being distributed or sold.