Earlier this month in Los Banos, California, police executed four search warrants based on their determination that probable cause existed to find illegal grow operations. Police do not believe that the operations were related. Upon executing the warrants, police confiscated approximately $2.6 million dollars worth of marijuana plants and arrested two people. Police are currently looking for several others that they believe are involved in the illegal grow operations. In all, police seized 1056 marijuana plants across the four grow operations.
According to a report by the Los Banos Enterprise, police described the grow houses as "sophisticated operations," noting that in each case they were stealing electricity. In one case, the operation was using so much electricity that the electrical wires leading into the home were beginning to melt. Those who were arrested, as well as those who now have outstanding warrants out for their arrest, will all face charges of cultivating and possession of marijuana and stealing electricity.
Obtaining a Search Warrant to Investigate Sonoma County Grow Operations
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents police from conducting unreasonable searches and seizures. Before police are constitutionally permitted to search a person's home, they need to secure a warrant from a judge first. In order to obtain a warrant, the officer needs to convince the judge that there is probable cause to believe that a crime is being, or was, committed.