Las Vegas Sun

November 28, 2014

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Metro busts marijuana grow house linked to drug network

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Steve Marcus

Metro Police officers remove plants and equipment from a marijuana grow house near Bermuda Road and Cactus Avenue, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.

Metro Busts Grow House

Metro Police Lt. Laz Chavez displays plants taken from a marijuana grow house near Bermuda Road and Cactus Avenue, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Launch slideshow »

Pot bust

A marijuana grow house found this afternoon is part of a sophisticated drug network in the Las Vegas Valley, investigators said.

“Several hundred” marijuana plants were found about 4 p.m. at a two-story rental house in the 500 block of Mossy Bark Court, near Cactus Avenue and Bermuda Road, said Metro Police Lt. Laz Chavez, who oversees the department’s narcotics unit. Police arrested an armed man in his 20s who was inside the house during the raid; Chavez said he will likely face one charge of unlawful possession of a firearm and several drug charges.

“We’ll probably be here until 4 or 5 in the morning,” Chavez said. “(The marijuana garden) is such a substantial size, it will take us quite a while to sort though it.”

Last week investigators homed in on three other grow houses and arrested one other man linked to the same drug production operation. Neither of the suspects has medical licenses to use or grow marijuana, Chavez said. Altogether, police expect to collect about 1,600 plants from the four houses.

During one raid on Friday at a house near Decatur Boulevard and Windmill Lane, police found a live 5-foot alligator inside a dirty aquarium. Area news outlets have since reported that state officials euthanized the animal.

Investigators believe others are involved in the drug operation because each grow house operation has been large and intricately planned. To hide the unusually high amount of energy used to grow the plants, for example, the group tapped into each home’s energy meter and modified it. Electrical systems were also manually rewired to accommodate more lamps.

Floors, meanwhile were sodden with liquid fertilizers and other chemicals.

“Obviously, that’s very dangerous,” Chavez said. “It’s a fire hazard.”

No other details about the other raids were available tonight — Chavez said more information would be available early Wednesday.

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