Los Banos Police discover “sophisticated” marijuana grow operation in converted warehouse
PHOTO: Los Banos PD
LOS BANOS — Police have announced the discovery of what is being described as a “sophisticated” marijuana growing operation and the arrest of a two suspects in connection to said operation.
On Monday, September 17, Chief Gary Brizzee of Los Banos PD had been driving along the 200 block of Commerce Way when he spotted 39-year-old Hai Minh Nguyen standing outside a vacant business and ran a warrants check, discovering that Nguyen had an outstanding warrant for possession of marijuana for sales and maintaining a place to sell a controlled substance.
It wasn’t long before police also noted signs indicating some sort of large-scale growing operation going on.
Officers from Los Banos PD, along with the Merced Area Gang and Narcotics Task Force, served a search warrant at the warehouse and discovered a “sophisticated indoor marijuana growing operation in a converted warehouse.” By the time all was said and done, over 800 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of over $250,000 were removed.
Nguyen faces charges of felony conspiracy and cultivating marijuana.
The police department’s drone also spotted 45-year-old Phuc Van Tran hiding on the roof. He went back inside and tried hiding under a fake wall near the ceiling, but was found during a police search of the building.
He now faces charges of felony conspiracy, cultivating marijuana, and resisting or delaying a peace officer.