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Rentals Often Used As Pot Farms

Cozmo

New Member
On the exterior, the tan, two-story, 2,000-square-foot home in northern Nevada looked immaculate, with a well-groomed yard that stretched over nearly five acres.

Inside, though, two bedrooms in the home had been converted into marijuana greenhouses, complete with intricate electrical and irrigation systems meant to replicate a warm summer day, ideal weather for growing cannabis.

And the smell – a biting stench of rotten eggs – was awful.

This was supposed to be the home Kathy, who asked not to be identified, and her husband planned to retire to oneday. After putting a large chunk of cash into renovating the home last year, the Redwood City couple decided to rent the house out to save money.

They certainly didn't expect the son of a well-respected local attorney and an acquaintance of the county's District Attorney to operate a $100,000 marijuana cultivation operation out of the home.

"You could smell the marijuana through an open window," sheriff's deputies told the

56-year-old Kathy after coming across the growth. "It took months to get rid of that sulfur smell."

In the past year, police have discovered dozens of suburban California homes – also in quiet neighborhoods – that have been converted into marijuana-growing operations. Last year in San Mateo County, at least 10 homes were known to have been used for indoor pot cultivation.

Most recently, marijuana growth homes have been discovered in the East Bay, including Oakland.

In a pricey real estate market where it can cost well over $500,000 to purchase a home, it's becoming more common to find homes in nice neighborhoods being inhabited solely by hundreds of marijuana plants, a few floor fans and card tables. There is rarely any food in the house, sometimes not even a refrigerator, but nobody seems to notice.

According to San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force Commander Mark Wyss, homes in northern San Mateo County are ideal places for indoor growing because of the design of many; a majority of the home's windows are located on the second-floor of the property, making it difficult for prying eyes to see in.

Wyss also speculated that growers are setting their roots in cities like San Bruno and Daly City because you can get more property for your buck in San Mateo County rather than San Francisco, while still remaining close to the City's numerous medicinal marijuana dispensaries, which Wyss said he believes buy a lot of the marijuana grown in these operations.

"I believe a portion of these operations are supplying the dispensaries," Wyss said. "It's simple supply-and-demand."

Once a grower finds a property with whether they are renting it or buying it with 100 percent financing, Wyss said it could take up to three weeks to set up an operation, and thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

"They use virtually every square inch of the home for the cultivation of marijuana, and they don't even move into the home," said Gordon Taylor, a federal Drug Enforcement Agency special agent. "These people go into these homes and they basically destroy the interior of the homes."

According to Taylor, in 2004, about 54,569 marijuana plants were seized from indoor operations in California. That number jumped to 196,994 in 2006.

"It's gone up exponentially. It's almost quadrupled and that's alarming," Taylor said of the number of indoor growing operations. "There is a tremendous amount of money to be made."

When an indoor growing operation is discovered, neighbors are usually dumbfounded, oblivious to the illegal operations taking place just a few doors down.

"They can just hide and fit into the neighborhood," Wyss said. "They put a little bit of work into hiding their operation, and they can go on for a significant amount of time."

The growers usually leave their window shades down; some trigger timed lights to give the appearance that someone is home, others cover windows with black trash bags and foil to prevent passersby from peering in.

"If a property owner drives by the house and sees the lights, they'll go, 'Oh, well, they're home and everything looks normal,'" Wyss said. "It looks like you or I would be inside the house watching television, when in fact nobody's there."

On Jan. 29, 84-year-old Elegan Brewster literally drove into such a home, crashing his car into a neighbor's garage at 326 Rio Verde St. in Daly City.

Inside the house, investigators found 724 marijuana plants, a medium-sized forest of the highly sought drug worth more than $800,000, as well as an advanced electrical system used to steal more than $50,000 worth of electricity to help run the operation.

"I didn't even know what was going on over there," said Brewster, who has lived in his Bayshore Neighborhood home for about 38 years. "Nobody knew what was going on."

"We grew up on a ranch so everybody around you knew you," Elegan Brewster's cousin, Winifred Brewster, 56, added. "You come to the city, and everybody is cold. Nobody speaks to one another."

One month earlier, on Dec. 29, firefighters responded to a two-story home on the 3100 block of Fleetwood Drive in San Bruno on a report of a roof fire.

After extinguishing the blaze, investigators discovered 1,298 marijuana plants in the three-bedroom, two-bath rental home, as well as 60 grams of dried and packaged marijuana, cash, a loaded rifle and a loaded AK-47 submachine gun with high-velocity ammunition magazines.

Police arrested San Bruno resident Aaron George Seits,

23, a self-employed electrician who was renting the home.

"We do investigations, but a lot of it is these rare situations that we just happen to come across," Wyss said. "It was just one of those freak types of things."

Seits was renting the home he used to allegedly grow the marijuana in, but in cases concerning homeowners who are growing marijuana on their own property, the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office can seize the home, sell it and then split the money with the arresting police department.

Such is the case with Vincent Mah, 21, and Warren Yip,

28, who are accused of growing more than 1,500 marijuana plants, worth about $2 million, at their homes in San Bruno and Daly City.

"These homes are paid off pretty much," San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. "Under the forfeiture law, that money comes to us, it's not just going to the General Fund."

While the county's Narcotics Task Force is making efforts to locate these operations, Wyss said he relies a lot on information he gleans from home owners who are renting their property, residents and mail delivery people.

He said there are a few signs that people should look out for when trying to determine if their neighbor is illegally growing pot in their home: The people who own or rent the property never move into the house, they avoid contact with neighbors, they only visit the home once or twice a week and they never put their garbage cans out on the curb.

"It's getting to the point now that if a car can hit one, you feel like you could just walk up and down the street and pick them (indoor marijuana-growing operations) out," Wyss said. "Certainly, the general public doesn't want this type of stuff going on in their neighborhood."

Source: Inside Bay Area
Author: Kelly Pakula
Contact: kpakula@sanmateocountytrimes.com
Copyright: 2000-2006 ANG Newspapers
Website: East Bay Times - Contra Costa and Alameda county news, sports, entertainment, lifestyle and commentary
 

Keith Lake

420 Emeritus
420 Staff
According to Taylor, in 2004, about 54,569 marijuana plants were seized from indoor operations in California. That number jumped to 196,994 in 2006.

"It's gone up exponentially. It's almost quadrupled and that's alarming," Taylor said of the number of indoor growing operations. "There is a tremendous amount of money to be made."

I hope Taylor knows more about pot then he does math.

Exponentially is a number times itself a specific number of times - not a number times 4.
 

greenmonkey

New Member
"It's getting to the point now that if a car can hit one, you feel like you could just walk up and down the street and pick them (indoor marijuana-growing operations) out," Wyss said. "Certainly, the general public doesn't want this type of stuff going on in their neighborhood."

what? i wish i could do that and i definently want more pot growers in my hood
 

In_Hollywood

New Member
On the exterior, the tan, two-story, 2,000-square-foot home in northern Nevada looked immaculate, with a well-groomed yard that stretched over nearly five acres.

Inside, though, two bedrooms in the home had been converted into marijuana greenhouses, complete with intricate electrical and irrigation systems meant to replicate a warm summer day, ideal weather for growing cannabis.

And the smell – a biting stench of rotten eggs – was awful.

This was supposed to be the home Kathy, who asked not to be identified, and her husband planned to retire to oneday. After putting a large chunk of cash into renovating the home last year, the Redwood City couple decided to rent the house out to save money.

They certainly didn't expect the son of a well-respected local attorney and an acquaintance of the county's District Attorney to operate a $100,000 marijuana cultivation operation out of the home.

"You could smell the marijuana through an open window," sheriff's deputies told the

56-year-old Kathy after coming across the growth. "It took months to get rid of that sulfur smell."

In the past year, police have discovered dozens of suburban California homes – also in quiet neighborhoods – that have been converted into marijuana-growing operations. Last year in San Mateo County, at least 10 homes were known to have been used for indoor pot cultivation.

Most recently, marijuana growth homes have been discovered in the East Bay, including Oakland.

In a pricey real estate market where it can cost well over $500,000 to purchase a home, it's becoming more common to find homes in nice neighborhoods being inhabited solely by hundreds of marijuana plants, a few floor fans and card tables. There is rarely any food in the house, sometimes not even a refrigerator, but nobody seems to notice.

According to San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force Commander Mark Wyss, homes in northern San Mateo County are ideal places for indoor growing because of the design of many; a majority of the home's windows are located on the second-floor of the property, making it difficult for prying eyes to see in.

Wyss also speculated that growers are setting their roots in cities like San Bruno and Daly City because you can get more property for your buck in San Mateo County rather than San Francisco, while still remaining close to the City's numerous medicinal marijuana dispensaries, which Wyss said he believes buy a lot of the marijuana grown in these operations.

"I believe a portion of these operations are supplying the dispensaries," Wyss said. "It's simple supply-and-demand."

Once a grower finds a property with whether they are renting it or buying it with 100 percent financing, Wyss said it could take up to three weeks to set up an operation, and thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

"They use virtually every square inch of the home for the cultivation of marijuana, and they don't even move into the home," said Gordon Taylor, a federal Drug Enforcement Agency special agent. "These people go into these homes and they basically destroy the interior of the homes."

According to Taylor, in 2004, about 54,569 marijuana plants were seized from indoor operations in California. That number jumped to 196,994 in 2006.

"It's gone up exponentially. It's almost quadrupled and that's alarming," Taylor said of the number of indoor growing operations. "There is a tremendous amount of money to be made."

When an indoor growing operation is discovered, neighbors are usually dumbfounded, oblivious to the illegal operations taking place just a few doors down.

"They can just hide and fit into the neighborhood," Wyss said. "They put a little bit of work into hiding their operation, and they can go on for a significant amount of time."

The growers usually leave their window shades down; some trigger timed lights to give the appearance that someone is home, others cover windows with black trash bags and foil to prevent passersby from peering in.

"If a property owner drives by the house and sees the lights, they'll go, 'Oh, well, they're home and everything looks normal,'" Wyss said. "It looks like you or I would be inside the house watching television, when in fact nobody's there."

On Jan. 29, 84-year-old Elegan Brewster literally drove into such a home, crashing his car into a neighbor's garage at 326 Rio Verde St. in Daly City.

Inside the house, investigators found 724 marijuana plants, a medium-sized forest of the highly sought drug worth more than $800,000, as well as an advanced electrical system used to steal more than $50,000 worth of electricity to help run the operation.

"I didn't even know what was going on over there," said Brewster, who has lived in his Bayshore Neighborhood home for about 38 years. "Nobody knew what was going on."

"We grew up on a ranch so everybody around you knew you," Elegan Brewster's cousin, Winifred Brewster, 56, added. "You come to the city, and everybody is cold. Nobody speaks to one another."

One month earlier, on Dec. 29, firefighters responded to a two-story home on the 3100 block of Fleetwood Drive in San Bruno on a report of a roof fire.

After extinguishing the blaze, investigators discovered 1,298 marijuana plants in the three-bedroom, two-bath rental home, as well as 60 grams of dried and packaged marijuana, cash, a loaded rifle and a loaded AK-47 submachine gun with high-velocity ammunition magazines.

Police arrested San Bruno resident Aaron George Seits,

23, a self-employed electrician who was renting the home.

"We do investigations, but a lot of it is these rare situations that we just happen to come across," Wyss said. "It was just one of those freak types of things."

Seits was renting the home he used to allegedly grow the marijuana in, but in cases concerning homeowners who are growing marijuana on their own property, the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office can seize the home, sell it and then split the money with the arresting police department.

Such is the case with Vincent Mah, 21, and Warren Yip,

28, who are accused of growing more than 1,500 marijuana plants, worth about $2 million, at their homes in San Bruno and Daly City.

"These homes are paid off pretty much," San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. "Under the forfeiture law, that money comes to us, it's not just going to the General Fund."

While the county's Narcotics Task Force is making efforts to locate these operations, Wyss said he relies a lot on information he gleans from home owners who are renting their property, residents and mail delivery people.

He said there are a few signs that people should look out for when trying to determine if their neighbor is illegally growing pot in their home: The people who own or rent the property never move into the house, they avoid contact with neighbors, they only visit the home once or twice a week and they never put their garbage cans out on the curb.

"It's getting to the point now that if a car can hit one, you feel like you could just walk up and down the street and pick them (indoor marijuana-growing operations) out," Wyss said. "Certainly, the general public doesn't want this type of stuff going on in their neighborhood."

Source: Inside Bay Area
Author: Kelly Pakula
Contact: kpakula@sanmateocountytrimes.com
Copyright: 2000-2006 ANG Newspapers
Website: East Bay Times - Contra Costa and Alameda county news, sports, entertainment, lifestyle and commentary

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - HI, ALL! I wonder IF some growers have ever rented a Public Storage area to set up a grow, with lights, etc. (some have electric outlets or lights inside the storage unit)??? =Judy=
 

paperbag

New Member
I'd say using a storage unit is a bad idea. The electric is usually just a lightbulb inside the unit. If you tried to grow in there, yo'ud be using a lot more than the other renters and would immediately raise flags.
 

Frog

New Member
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - HI, ALL! I wonder IF some growers have ever rented a Public Storage area to set up a grow, with lights, etc. (some have electric outlets or lights inside the storage unit)??? =Judy=


Oh yeah, heard of a few but the one I do know about got popped for high Elect.Usage. They draw attention due to the elect.usage.
 
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