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Tesoro Marijuana Farm Busted

Posted: January 30, 2008 3:25 a.m.
Updated: April 1, 2008 2:02 a.m.

Sheriff's Sgt. Phil Morris weaves through one of three rooms filled with marijuana plants at various stages of maturity at a Tesoro del Valle residence Tuesday. The street value of the plants was estimated at $1 million to $3 million, according to Morris.

Sheriff's deputies raided an upscale Tesoro del Valle home Tuesday - confiscating more than 1,000 marijuana plants including some with names like "Big Bud" and "Beastie Boom" - after a neighbor walking his dog tipped them to an odor wafting from the residence.

"This is the first ever incident in Tesoro," Sheriff's Sgt. Phil Morris said at the scene. "It is also the first marijuana incident in the entire area this year."
Detectives from the Sheriff's Narcotics Bureau served a search warrant Tuesday morning at the home in the 29300 block of Via Estancia in the unincorporated area of Tesoro after receiving a tip roughly 10 days ago about a suspicion of marijuana being grown at the residence, Morris said.
The street value of the plants was estimated at $1 million to $3 million, Morris said. Each fully grown plant was valued at about $1,400 to $2,000.
The resident and suspect, identified as Jace Edwards, a 32-year-old white male, was not at the location when the search warrant was served. However alert deputies spotted him a short time later driving on Avenida Rancho Tesoro and detained him without incident after a traffic stop.
Edwards was taken into custody at 1:30 p.m. on a felony charge of cultivating marijuana. He is being held on $30,000 bail and other charges may be pending. The investigation is ongoing.
The suspect ran an elaborate marijuana growing operation in the house's three-car garage. A small downstairs bedroom in the two-story home was also converted into a growing area for the marijuana plants. The bedroom, adjacent to the garage, was converted into a plant nursery. Marijuana was grown in this room under a ceiling fan and high-powered lamp. According to Morris, the plants were three inches away from being fully mature.
Once the plants were close to maturation, they were moved to the first portion of the garage, where they were stored under ideal growing conditions until fully mature. At that point, the plants were moved into the largest portion of the garage, where the suspect had several hundred fully grown marijuana plants.
In the largest portion of the garage, there was illegal electrical wiring operating the fans. There was an elaborate marijuana growth plan on the wall, an eight-week timeline that outlined growth stages.
To the left of the timeline were names of different types of marijuana, including Fausifa Load, Floralicious, Carbo Load, Open Sesame, Beastie Boom, Cha Ching, Big Bud and Procilica.
Sheriff's officials received a tip from an individual who was walking his dog on Via Estancia and noticed the excessive condensation and the herb's scent emanating from the residence. The individual informed local deputies, who staked out the home through Monday morning.
During surveillance, deputies saw condensation along the side of the house - both before and after recent storms. The condensation came from the elaborate ventilation system used to keep the plant-growing area cool.
According to Morris, detectives arrested eight marijuana growers last year throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.


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