About a half-million dollars' worth of illegal marijuana was seized in the Santa Cruz Mountains after Santa Clara Sheriff's deputies said they were tipped off by neighbors of the massive pot farm.
Thirteen deputies pulled up on to a house near Loma Prieta and Summit roads in Los Gatos on Thursday morning. They said they found rows of marijuana plants and three greenhouses.
Deputies said they used loudspeakers to tell the suspects to come out with their hands above their heads. Five people who investigators said were living on the property were detained and subsequently arrested Thursday afternoon.
Investigators said the suspects claim they were growing marijuana for medicinal purposes, but deputies called the operation illegal.
Deputies said they found 830 plants on the seven-acre property, worth about half a million dollars on the street. Deputies said they also seized large amounts of cash
Sheriff's Sgt. James Jensen said they also found several propane containers and fertilizers. “They’re destroying the environment,” he said.
Investigators said neighbors in the area tipped them off to the operation. One woman who didn’t want to identify herself told NBC Bay Area she is glad deputies are cleaning up the area.
Garrett Hand said he is friends with the growers and stands by their claim the marijuana growing on the premises was for medicinal purposes.
“As far as everything I’ve seen and participated with,” Hand said, “it’s directly through a medical recommendation.”
Deputies investigating where the marijuana was being sold said they found FedEx boxes on the property and all the cars parked outside had out-of-state plates.