Following a tip called in to the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s station, a team of sheriff’s deputies, armed with a search warrant, descended on a normally quiet Tempo Homes neighborhood Tuesday morning with the intention of eliminating another source of illegal drugs.
After making a forced entry into the home in the 15300 block of Via Telino at 8:15 a.m., the narcotics officers found a full-fledged marijuana grow house operation, with lights, power boosters, trash cans filled with liquid nutrients and hundreds of plants in the garage and three upstairs bedrooms.
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According to Lt. Brenda Cambra, the detectives also found methamphetamines and cocaine in the house.
The house was filthy and strewn with trash and fast-food containers, a stained mattress in the living room appeared to be where the lone occupant was sleeping. Dozens of power boosters were removed from the home (which changed 110 current to 220) and as many white-shaded grow lights were carried out and lined up on the front lawn. All the windows in the upstairs had been boarded over and the walls covered with reflective silver cardboard.
They arrested 22-year-old Jesus Pedroza, who was living in the house. Cambra said that the house was family-owned. Pedroza faces felony charges of cultivation of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine for sale and possession of cocaine for sale, all felony charges. He also faces civil charges of theft of utilities, as the home’s central power source had been hacked and the meter bypassed.
Because of the exposed wiring and hazardous conditions of the house, city officials from Building and Safety were working alongside detectives to minimize the danger and issue citations for safety violations.
Nearly 300 plants were found in the search, which have a street value of 500 to several thousand dollars per plant, depending on the plant’s quality and number of buds.