PHELAN – An El Monte man, who tried to flee law enforcement, was arrested when San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials raided a home that contained a large-scale marijuana operation last week.
Nhan Kinh Tang, 58, faces charges of possession of a large amount of marijuana, planting and cultivating marijuana and also for tampering with utility equipment in order to reduce charges for power.
Marijuana Eradication Team members took a report from a citizen about suspicious activities taking place at a rural residence at 2933 Joshua Rd., according to investigators. Over 1,300 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, along with processed marijuana that had been recently harvested, were discovered inside the residence. MET investigators showed up at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 16 with a warrant, eventually discovering a large-scale marijuana growing operation throughout the entire 2,500-square-foot house.
Tang attempted to flee the location in his car, but law enforcement took him into custody before he got away without further incident. According to investigators, “the grow operation used advanced lighting systems, air conditioning systems, fans, exhaust blowers and a filter system to control the climate inside the residence.”
During the investigation, it was determined the suspect had bypassed electrical systems, stealing in excess of $400,000 in utilities during a period up to six years. “The grow operation most likely went unnoticed for so long,” according to a release, “because of the rural and secluded location of the residence.” A court appearance has not been set yet for Tang, who was released one day after his arrest, according to records.
MET investigators have uncovered several grow houses in recent months. San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said, “Indoor marijuana grows will not become common in our neighborhoods,” adding the MET will continue to take down these grow houses, “put the operators in jail and seek restitution for the massive theft of utilities.”
Phelan is located about 40 miles from San Bernardino, a city that is near Victorville, Hesperia and close to the Los Angeles County border.