A 29-year-old Lancaster man was pulled over for what the media characterizes as a “routine traffic stop” during the early morning hours Feb. 9. The media coverage does not indicate what may have provided law enforcement with a justification to make the so-called routine stop, which took place near the intersection of 40th Street West and Avenue D.
However, authorities claim that during the stop they discovered that the Lancaster man was driving on a suspended license and was also on probation for another offense at the time of the traffic stop.
After the encounter last week, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies apparently decided to use the opportunity to perform a probation compliance check at the man’s home. Deputies descended upon the home after the 2:00 a.m. traffic investigation. In the end, the driver and eight other people who were apparently inside the Lancaster residence were arrested on suspicion of California drug crimes.
Deputies claim that upon entry into the home, they discovered a large-scale marijuana growing operation. Law enforcement says that roughly 800 marijuana plants were found growing inside the home. The marijuana grow was apparently supported with planting beds and artificial lights.
In addition to equipment used to grow pot, authorities say they found an area within the home that was set up to process “hash-oil,” which is a liquid drug manufactured from cannabis plants. LA deputies believe the street value of the drugs seized from the home is roughly $1 million.
Deputies arrested the man after the probation compliance check. In addition, eight other people were taken into custody, apparently at the Lancaster home. However, news reports do not indicate what involvement any of the eight people may have in the marijuana cultivation operation that would support criminal charges. The eight people range in age from 19 to 33-years-old.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Traffic stop leads sheriff’s deputies to $1-million marijuana stash,” Rick Rojas, Feb. 12, 2012