Ventura County – For those of us facing mounting monthly utility bills, it could be hard to decide whether or not Richard Gora, a 51-year old resident of Camarillo is a modern day Robin Hood or if he’s part of our increased electricity rates.
When, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Jose Rivera, the Sheriff’s East County Narcotics Street Team received “information” that Gora’s residence was the likely “site of an illegal marijuana cultivation operation” and they then obtained and served a search warrant at that address, they discovered more than 300 mature plants within the house’s three bedrooms, living room, bathroom, and enclosed patio.
Supporting what was obvious to detectives of the East and West County Street Teams and the Camarillo Police Special Enforcement Detail on the scene on September 3rd—that Gora wasn’t messing around when it came to growing pot for sale—were the “several commercial grade air filtration systems” operating throughout the residence to prevent neighbors from getting a whiff of things.
But most egregious to those of us who see our electricity bills come in the mail each month, was the discovery by detectives that Gora had “illegally bypassed his electric meter and was using a significant amount of kilowatts to power the lighting equipment in the house on a 24-hour basis.” When contacted by VCSD detectives to report this issue, Southern California Edison estimated that Gora had used more than $20,000 of electrical service without being billed.
By the time the execution of the search warrant was completed, and Gora was booked into Ventura County Jail on charges of marijuana cultivation, possession for sale, and theft of utilities, deputies had seized more than 300 marijuana plants, 35 pounds of dried marijuana, and several thousands of dollars “deemed to be proceeds from marijuana sales.”
Or it just could have been the cash Gora saved on his utility bills.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking
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