Fires Reveal Two Illegal Marijuana Operations in Moreno Valley
MORENO VALLEY – Two different illegal marijuana operations were exposed this week after authorities were called to extinguish residential fires.
Early in the morning on Sunday, personnel from the California Department of Forestry & Fire arrived at the 26300 Block of Cape Mendocino Moreno Valley in response to a call that there was an explosion. Firefighters arrived at a single-family residence that was fully engulfed in flames. Authorities evacuated two other residences in response to the explosion and fearing for their safety.
The fire was extinguished and was deemed to be caused by the manufacturing of concentrated cannabis also known as “honey oil” or “wax.” Officers from the Moreno Valley Police Department were called to the scene to resume the investigations and residents were allowed to return their homes once the area was deemed safe.
Investigators found marijuana, wax, and chemicals associated with the manufacturing of honey oil at the residence. Authorities feel that the explosion was caused by manufacturing of the honey oil, causing extensive damage that left the home uninhabitable.
Jesse Leibowitz, 32, of Moreno Valley was arrested and booked into Robert Presley Detention Center for manufacturing Honey Oil. He has a medical marijuana card, but was not in compliance with the medical marijuana laws.
On Tuesday afternoon, California Department of Forestry was again called to a suspicious fire on the 15800 Block of Oliver St., in Moreno Valley to extinguish a residential fire. This time fire fighters found a fully operational indoor marijuana grow house. The residence sustained moderate damage as a result of the fire and was red-tagged.
Officers from the Moreno Valley Police Department obtained a search warrant for the residence and confiscated approximately 1151 marijuana plants. An electrical by-pass at the power meter was discovered and was determined to be the cause of the fire. There were no injuries as a result of the fire, but police are still looking for suspects in the crime.
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