Oakland Man Arrested For Growing 160 Pot Plants

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A 61-year-old Oakland man is facing felony drug charges after police allegedly found a sophisticated marijuana-growing operation inside his house located near an elementary school.

Officers from the city's public school detail said they could smell marijuana when they went to John Halsema's home Thursday to check on a car they thought was stolen. They say that Halsema told them he was an authorized medical marijuana user and had 40 pot plants.

When police returned with a search warrant, they found 160 marijuana plants growing under automatic watering, lighting and ventilation systems in three of the house's six rooms, but no documents backing up Halsema's claim he was a medical marijuana patient.

Authorities also said they seized were fake police identification cards, three guns and books on how to make bombs, silencers and homemade guns.

Information from: The Oakland Tribune,

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

AP-NY-07-05-08 1627EDT

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