Law enforcement has arrested 19 people in an alleged father and son marijuana cultivation operation, according to a report in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Authorities say that they have seized thousands of marijuana plants in conjunction with the investigation into the alleged marijuana grow.

The Drug Enforcement Administration reportedly dubbed the drug crime investigation “Disco Dazed.” The overall investigation targeted 14 locations. The alleged marijuana cultivation operation was reportedly based in the Bay area. Officials say that they seized more than 3,600 pot plants, 100 pounds of processed marijuana, guns, cash and a grenade launcher associated with the drug busts.

Authorities accuse a father and his son of being the rings leaders of the pot operation. Agents claim that the two men used retail stores as fronts. Law enforcement alleges that the hydroponic retail stores allowed the father and son to make deals with pot growers to share in profits of cultivation operations. The agents claim that the scheme included the exchange of hydroponic growing equipment for shares in the cultivation scheme.

Authorities announced the 19 arrests Wednesday. Officials say that an additional nine suspects remained at large after the sweeping raids.

The investigation arose from a tip claiming that hydroponic retail stores in Tracy and Hayward were involved in an alleged drug trafficking organization. The investigation had been ongoing for more than a year before the recent raids.

Authorities say that conspiracy and fedreral drug charges in the alleged scheme could expose the defendants to potential sentences of up to life sentences, if convicted.

Sources:

San Gabriel Valley Tribune, “Operation Disco Dazed: Huge DEA sweep crushes alleged father-and-son California-based marijuana ring,” Sean Maher, May 16, 2012

Santa Cruz Sentinel, “DEA: SF Bay area father-son pot ring busted,” The Associated Press, May 17, 2012