Police Raid Massive Marijuana Grow in Santa Cruz Mountains

Police Raid Massive Marijuana Grow in Santa Cruz Mountains, Seize Over $1 Million of Weed

Santa Clara Sheriff's deputies confiscated more than $1 million worth of marijuana in the raid. (Photo: Michelle Roberts, NBC Bay Area.)

Thursday morning Santa Clara police raided a 7-acre marijuana grow in the Santa Cruz mountains, seizing more than a million dollars worth of weed.

Santa Clara Sheriff’s deputies said that neighbors of the grow alerted them to its existence. While the five suspects arrested and property owner claim the grow is entirely for medicinal purposes and valid under state MMJ laws, the deputies unwaveringly say the grow is illegal.

Garret Hand, friend of those arrested, was on the scene when police came.

“As far as everything I’ve seen and participated with, it’s directly through a medical recommendation,” he told reporters.

Possibly supporting this claim, police found a large number of FedEx boxes, a large amount of cash, and a handgun in the house. Also all the cars parked on site were registered out of state.

Overall, Santa Clara police seized more than 830 plants, each with a street value of $2,000.

Deputies arrived at the grow at 8 am Thursday morning with a loudspeaker alerting suspects to come out of the greenhouses with their hands on their heads.

“There’s several propane containers over there, there’s fertilizers,” said Deputy James Jensen. “They’re destroying the environment.”

Neighbors who did not want their names printed for fear of potential retaliation were glad to see deputies on the scene, but told reporters they’re afraid the grow will continue regardless. Apparently it was the smell that first tipped them off — though I must say the growers didn’t go to much trouble to conceal themselves, as you can see from the aerial image below.