Today police made one of the biggest drug busts in south Snohomish County history.
Lynnwood police, along with other members of the South Snohomish County Drug Task Force, served 26 warrants at suspected marijuana grow operations in south Snohomish and north King counties — most of them at rental homes. Thousands of pot plants were seized and at least a dozen people, ranging in age from 25 to 75, were arrested.
Undercover detectives have been investigating this organized Vietnamese marijuana growing operation for the past eight months. In November 2009, tips started coming in regarding a couple of the grow houses. Through surveillance and investigation, detectives tied together these locations where search warrants were served early this morning.
The damage to the rental homes includes holes in sheet rock, possible mold issues, possible chemical spills, electrical diversions and other fire safety issues. Police say one of the main victims in this type of crime is the PUD because of the amount of electricity that was stolen for these homes to operate.
The South Snohomish County Drug Task Force is made up of detectives from Lynnwood, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace police departments.
These are some warning signs from police of a potential marijuana grow house:
- A home that appears not to be lived in but people come by at odd times of the day, stay a short while and then leave again.Windows covered with foil or other material.
- Homes that have a strong smell of marijuana and/or homes that you can hear constant humming sounds from.
- These homes also tend to have unkempt vehicles or other debris in front of them as well.
- Landlords should pay closer attention to renters who always pay cash for their rent and who won’t allow walk-through checks of the rental homes.
Photos courtesy of Lynnwood PD.