Sacto 9-1-1
February 16, 2010
Update: El Dorado Hills pot operation was for suspected street sales

Lien_Tu_On[1].jpgFrom Kim Minugh and Bill Lindelof:

El Dorado County sheriff's deputies seized nearly $875,000 in marijuana this morning after locating a large indoor marijuana growing operation in a gated residential community in El Dorado Hills, according to authorities.

Culminating a three-month investigation that started with complaints from neighbors, deputies and agents from the state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement served a search warrant on a residence on Calabria Court, off Sophia Parkway, said Lt. Bryan Golmitz, sheriff's spokesman.

Inside, authorities found about 1,000 marijuana plants, most of them 2- to 2 1/2-feet tall, Golmitz said. Authorities estimate the plants are worth about $875,000, based on estimates of how much marijuana each plant would yield and current market value.

They also found what Golmitz described as an "elaborate growing environment" that included ventilation systems and a light system. Electricity in the home had been wired to bypass the meter, and officials from Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power to the home, Golmitz said. County officials responded and condemned the structure because of the conditions, he said.

Most of the plants found in the home were in the growing stage, and authorities did not find much processed marijuana, the lieutenant said.

Authorities are confident the grow was intended for illegal sales, rather than for medicinal marijuana use, Golmitz said.

"This is totally different. This has nothing to do with Prop. 215 sales or (co-op sales)," he said. "This is a marijuana grow operating for profit."

Arrested in connection with the grow was 47-year-old Lien Tu On (top left photo), who was at the home at the time authorities served the search warrant, according to Golmitz.

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