Giant indoor pot grow in Las Vegas sets record
January 12, 2013
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Officers seized an estimated $4.5 million worth of marijuana plants from a single house this week, a haul that a Southern Nevada task force called the biggest indoor pot grow it has ever busted.Authorities who served a search warrant Wednesday evening said the house on Trickling Stream Circle had almost no furniture, clothing or food inside, except for a few bottles of water and some oranges in the refrigerator.“Practically every square foot was filled with plants,” Las Vegas police Lt. Laz Chavez, who oversees the marijuana task force, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “There were custom rooms built just to house this gigantic lab.”Police arrested a woman, Qing Hui Chen, 44, and a man, Chang Biao Zheng, 45, who were hiding in a nearby yard. The two were later booked on charges including possession of a controlled substance and maintaining a place for sale of a controlled substance.In addition to nearly 1,500 marijuana plants inside, police recovered about $30,000 in cash.Five rooms of the home had been converted into an indoor farm with high-intensity light bulbs, pumps, water reservoirs and other equipment, according to a police report.“The damage to the house was almost shocking,” Chavez said. “They just destroyed so much of the house with liquid fertilizer, and a significant amount of mold was developing in there.”This was the third marijuana grow house discovered in the area this year.Last year, the Southern Nevada marijuana enforcement team reported busting 142 indoor marijuana growing operations, and seizing more than 8,500 plants and 195 firearms.