Officials Confiscate $6 Million In Marijuana Plants At House


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Narcotics officers discovered hundreds of marijuana plants Monday inside a house in a residential neighborhood.

The find was similar to several others previously made in Rowland Heights, Diamond Bar, Chino Hills and Pomona. As in those cases, the house on Farben Drive had been gutted to make room for the indoor farm, and no one lived inside.

Los Angeles sheriff's narcotics authorities raided the home at 742 Farben Drive about 2 p.m. and found 985 high-potency plants valued at nearly

$6 million.

Authorities arrested Ken Ho, 26, and Chuan Zhou, 42 at the scene on suspicion of cultivating marijuana.

Sheriff's Lt. James Whitten said investigators were tipped off by a neighbor "within the last week." He said authorities are looking into whether the house "is connected to the others we've been investigating." This is the eighth indoor pot bust locally in less than a month. Since March 21, authorities have found two houses in Diamond Bar, three in Rowland Heights, one in Chino Hills and one in Pomona.

Many neighbors in the quiet, hilly neighborhood said the house has changed hands numerous times in recent years, but nothing of the yellow-and-white, two-story home alerted them to illegal activity.

The sprinklers and lights were on a timer, and a gardener came every Saturday afternoon, they said.

Inside the house, a pungent smell of marijuana plants hung in the air, even though investigators had removed the plants hours earlier.

Wires hung from the ceiling and dozens of electrical outlets were attached to the wall. As in the other houses, the wires that fed powerful, 1,000-watt grow lights, fans and generators had been rigged to bypass Southern California Edison meters.

Though the windows of the home were covered by curtains or plastic tarpaulins to block the view from the outside, Whitten pointed to a light that had been placed under a window that was timed to turn on and give the appearance of someone being inside the vacant home.

Kathleen Nolan said the fact that this occurred across the street from her house came as a shock, especially with two police officers who live in the area.

"You just never would have guessed it," Nolan said.

Bill Dennis, who has lived on Farben Street for five years, said the three young men who moved into the home in fall of 2005, and whom Dennis helped install the garage door, were excellent neighbors.

Plants and shrubs were regularly maintained and the house's exterior was repainted last week, he said.

Other neighbors said that they rarely saw anyone home.

"I came around trying to sell candy in October. Nobody answered and it smelled a little weird," said Elyse Goin, 12, who lives nearby.

Her friend, Imani Butler, 12, said she never saw anyone go in or out of the house.

"It always looked kind of abandoned or vacant," said her mother, Michelle Butler. "It's just odd. This is a pretty family-oriented neighborhood. Pretty much everyone talks to each other. But we didn't really know who they were."

Newshawk: CoZmO -
Source: Whittier Daily News (CA)
Authors: Bethania Palma and Caroline An
Copyright: 2007 Los Angeles Newspaper Group
Website: Whittier Daily News - Home


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"I came around trying to sell candy in October. Nobody answered and it smelled a little weird," said Elyse Goin, 12, who lives nearby."

gotta watch out for those~~

6$ mil.. another exaggerated price
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