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Police bust $250K grow in Manteca
pot bust shadowbrook
More than 600 marijuana plants were recovered from an indoor marijuana grow operation in Manteca last week. If each of the plants produced a pound of mature flower, the estimated value of a single crop from the operation could reach nearly $250,000 based on today’s prices.

An indoor cannabis growing operation worth upwards of $250,000 was shut down last week by the Manteca Police Department’s Investigations Unit.

Police served a search warrant Sept. 9 on the 900 block of Shadow Brook – located in a residential neighborhood accessible by Marsh Creek Lane off of Louise Avenue in and older custom east Manteca neighborhood – and discovered 600 mature cannabis plants as part of an ongoing investigation into an illicit indoor grow operation.

At an average current wholesale prices ranging between $400 to $450 per pound, the value of a single crop from the plants recovered – each of which could produce a pound from a single harvest – is around $250K. If sold in smaller amounts, the value could easily double that amount.

While cannabis cultivation is legal in California, adults over the age of 21 can only grow up to six plants – making any more than that is a misdemeanor.

A substantial amount of cash was also discovered in the house.

“These grows produce a high risk of structure fires to a neighborhood based on power consumption and poor electrical engineering,” the Manteca Police said after the bust. “The monthly electrical charges to operate these grows averages between $3,000 and $7,000 every month, and these grows compromise the electrical grid due to the high electrical consumption.”

The discovery comes while the City of Manteca is currently looking into relaxing the city’s existing ordinances barring cannabis-related businesses from operating within the city limits. Several public workshops were held to gather information from experts and gauge the public appeal for such a move.

While Proposition 64 allows for the recreational use of cannabis and allows for retail sales, municipalities can set their own regulations when it comes to the emerging business sector.

According to Manteca Police, grows of this type can be tied to organized crime groups which opens the door to additional crimes.

“Several of these marijuana grows are operated by criminal organizations and result in money laundering and a variety of other associated crimes,” the agency said. “Chemicals used in these illicit grows have an impact on our environment and can pose serious health risks.

“These illicit grows have no regulation over oversight to evaluate the finished product. Houses converted into whole-house marijuana grows are commonly subject to burglaries, invasions, and other related crimes.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.