Deputies Bust $7 Million Pot Farm in Apple Valley

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. (AP) - An anonymous tipster led authorities to a deserted home filled with live marijuana plants valued at more than $7 million, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County sheriff said Thursday.

The plants were in every room of the 3,500-square-foot, five-bedroom house, including the garage, said Arden Wiltshire, a sheriff's spokeswoman. No suspects have been arrested.

While executing a search warrant late Wednesday, officials said deputies found another 30 pounds of harvested marijuana that was dried and ready for sale The dried marijuana was valued at another
$90,000.

The home was equipped with sophisticated hydroponic irrigation systems and indoor lighting.

No one was living at the newer, single-story home in a rural area of San Bernardino County about 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Deputies found that the crop's operators had bypassed the electrical system and stolen $80,000 in free electricity for a year, Wiltshire said.

"The reason they bypass the electrical is because they're afraid it's going to raise a red flag, with all the equipment that they're running," she said.

The investigation is continuing, she said.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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