Narcotics investigators find lush greenery after dog walker tipoff.
UPDATED 4:43 p.m. Jan. 29
Sheriff’s deputies seized more than 1,000 high-quality marijuana plants Tuesday from a house in the Tesoro Del Valle region of Valencia with an estimated street value in excess of $4 million.
Tipped off by a person walking their dog in the area who noticed a strange smell and an unusual amount of condensation on the side of the house, investigators got a warrant and found the plants.
According to Sgt. Darren Harris, homeowner Jace Edwards, 32, was arrested as he attempted to return home while detectives were removing the plants and growing materials.
According to narcotics officers at the scene, they estimated that the combined stash would yield 1,000 pounds of street-ready product.
Grow rooms were built into the garage, where an elaborate system of ducting, lights, fans and watering systems was attached to the ceiling and wooden stands holding the plants and their growing medium. A smaller setup inside a bedroom nurtured dozens of infant plants.
“These guys are using the good fertilizer,” an investigator commented, looking at bottles clustered under the plant nursery tables.
Deputies say that the grow house wasn’t in operation too long, but that many of the plants they found were mature and almost ready for harvest, which would indicate they’d been there longer than four months.
Edwards is being held at the Santa Clarita station on charges of cultivating marijuana. Harris said that additional charges, including felony charges for stealing power, would likely be added. Deputies estimate much more than $400 worth of electricity has been siphoned off nearby power boxes to support the grow activity.
Detectives said that they found eight similar grow houses in various areas of the region in 2007, but that this was the first grow house discovered in the Tesoro area.