2 arrested in million-dollar Palmdale pot grow bust

(Photos courtesy LASD)

(Photos courtesy LASD)

PALMDALE – A routine license plate check Monday afternoon led Palmdale patrol deputies to a sophisticated marijuana grow house containing plants with a potential production value of more than $1 million, authorities said.

Edgar Damian, 24, and Luis Ascencion, 30, were arrested around 4:30 p.m. Monday at the alleged grow house in the 200 Block of East Avenue P-2 in Palmdale, according Sgt. Rich Peña of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau. They told officials they began the operation about three months ago when they arrived from Mexico.

The following is the press report from the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau:

Palmdale Deputies were on routine patrol when they checked the license plate of a car parked at the location to determine the vehicle’s registration status. The license plate “returned” with a felony warrant for narcotics possession for suspect Edgar Damian at the same location.

Deputies summoned additional help and approached the front door to contact the occupants and search for Mr. Damian. They found the front door open and smelled the strong odor of fresh marijuana. The deputies noticed the intensity of the odor as indicative of previous “grow houses” they had encountered.

Upon the arrival of a sergeant, the deputies entered the house both to look for the warrant suspect and to secure the location.

They discovered every room in the house, including the garage, had been converted to a sophisticated indoor, hydroponic “grow” of approximately 630 marijuana plants.

They discovered the two suspects tending to plants in a rear room. Due to the noise of the ventilation equipment, they had not heard the deputies calling out as they entered and secured the location. The deputies obtained a search warrant and then continued with confiscation of the plants and growing equipment.

The plants have a potential production value of over one million dollars.

The suspect said they began the operation approximately three months ago when they arrived from Mexico. They said they had not sold any marijuana to date, but were beginning the first harvest for sale. The suspects have also been charged with theft of electricity as they had redirected the incoming power, bypassing the meter.

The suspects are being held at Palmdale Station. The Palmdale Station Narcotics crew will follow up on the investigation.

  28 comments for “2 arrested in million-dollar Palmdale pot grow bust

  1. CaliGirl
    July 4, 2013 at 3:09 am

    Our Gov has the biggest drug running operation going on in this country, why do you think they keep them illegal, do you really think they care about you?
    Oh my, if you do, you must still wait for Santa every Christmas to come down the chimney! Keeping them illegal keeps the prices artificially high to max out their profits!

  2. moparmom
    June 22, 2013 at 1:44 am

    The oil from Marajunna does in fact cure some kinds of cancer,, watch” American Drug War 2″ , and learn…

    • heyney
      June 22, 2013 at 7:24 am

      I doubt these people were extracting the oil for cancer research….lets leave that for scientists in a lab not in our neighborhoods

  3. Uncle Tom
    June 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Congrats LASD on catching the criminals….

    Oh..what you want to ignore the fact that these mensos were stealing electricity? Or perhaps we should ignore the fact that this house may have serious mold issues that will require abatement before it can be considered safe to occupy (Not mentioned, but a very common problem in grow houses).

    I have yet to hear of any large grows that fail to break a law besides ‘cultivation’. Theft of electricity (which ends up affecting everybody), theft of water (Yes, its does happen), destruction of property (Walls torn open/out, holes cut through floors, mold issues), illegals aliens running the grows, various weapons that might be at the location, potential for fires from hacked together wiring. That’s all just in a structured location, but the grows out in the mountains have their own dangers for somebody who was out for a hike and stumbles into them.

    You want to support operations like this, that end up screwing everybody, then its obvious your no smarter that that pile of brown I left in the porcelain god this morning.

    I won’t comment on the many other things people seem to try and nitpick on, I think the last sentence in my previous paragraph took care of that already.

    • Mr. Mister
      June 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      Operations like this would be greatly scaled back and/or non-existent if marijuana was legalized here. Everyone would benefit from more tax revenue and less violence. How many cartels and illegal operations exist for alcohol or tobacco? Well maybe moonshiners…and underground clubs during Prohibition. Lets homegrow the stuff and stop letting the cartels take our citizens’ money.

      • someone
        June 20, 2013 at 7:36 am

        it wont be surprising if this guys get off on a technicality
        im pretty sure deputies didnt have a warrant to search the house
        if they didnt have one you and i know that they can get out and the charges be drop beacusa of the illegal searching>>????????????

        • sammy P
          June 20, 2013 at 9:51 am

          I was wondering the same thing – it could get thrown out because the smell of weed is not enough reason to enter – it “could” have been a legal weed grow by someone with a licence to do so. So it will hinge on if they had a right to enter based on the licence plate check and the warrant.

          In a case like this- cops will always just go ahead and enter the home because they know that even if the weed case gets thrown out, the warrant arrest will still stand, and the weed wont be returned, and nothing bad will happen to the cops so there is really no deterrent for cops not to enter.

        • Uncle Tom
          June 20, 2013 at 9:51 am

          Its likely they had probable cause to enter the premises (felony warrant, open door, heavy smell of weed), even before a full search warrant was issued and on hand. AND the article states a warrant was obtained so that they could now go through and fully search and seize. I won’t go into details, but nothing in this article sounds far fetched or made up. Its pretty simple stuff, but as long as criminals things its all bull[removed], they will keep making the same mistakes. And that’s just fine by me.

      • Uncle Tom
        June 20, 2013 at 9:42 am

        Uh, It’s legal in Cali. Just go get a prescription, file for your weed card with the state, and you can then legally grow and possess up to a certain amount. Its pretty simple really.

        • Mr. Mister
          June 21, 2013 at 10:17 am

          Well yeah its “medically” legal. I mean Colorado and Washington legal. Where you dont need to pay $100+. Not that that’s steep or anything. But still a tiny hassle.

  4. Lowell Snyder
    June 18, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    The sherrif that wrote that report should be a candidate for a Pulitzer award because that’s the best made up story ever.

    • Thomas
      June 19, 2013 at 8:49 am

      Hopefully he can spell Sheriff

  5. annonymously
    June 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    “They found the front door open ….” uh, huh – SURE they did

  6. mick
    June 18, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I’m sure you’ve all read about the meth guy who caused the huge accident with serious injuries on the 14 while high on his drug of choice. I doubt this has ever happened when pot was involved. Just saying.

    And don’t even get me started on alcohol related accidents and fatalities…

  7. david g
    June 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    So they just pulled up to a random parked car to run its plates I call bull[removed]

    • Think Again
      June 18, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Actually, they have equipment that will check license plates as they drive by in their service vehicles. They often use it in parking lots to check registration status.

      • A. Richards
        June 20, 2013 at 8:39 am

        That same equipment is being used in private cars, saw it and asked the guy and he was a skip tracer for asset recovery…. He just drives through parking lots and runs plates through a asset database for banks looking for their cars they need back….. Then he calls the repo company assigned to that vehicle and then gets a percentage of the recovery…. But with this technology, makes me wonder why our state spends so much money on issuing stickers for your plate every year you pay registration…. The state could save a ton of money just having the license plate on our car with no sticker and they would know if it was current digitally, even if the cop didnt have the technology, they call in your plate with a radio when you get pulled over and they know if the registration is current or not…..

  8. Mr. Mister
    June 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Imagine the tax dollars we are skipping out on by not legalizing this stuff. Alcohol and tobacco are far worse for your mental and physical health but they get the green light…

    • rome
      June 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Yeah, but it’s hard to tax a plant that can be grown anywhere. Legalization would drive the price down significantly and would take away the funding of U.S. compadres in Latin America. good thing they were from Mexico, huh? not south central.

    • Elvis
      June 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Well said Mr. Mister, I couldn’t agree more. The manpower and resources wasted on marijuana could be better served somewhere else.

    • dumbandblind
      June 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Not to mention the number of cancer patients this can cure.

      • Maria
        June 19, 2013 at 2:45 am

        No wonder your pen name is “dumbandblind”….Weed does not cure cancer!!!!!!!!

        • Iwasone
          June 19, 2013 at 6:33 pm

          It only helps with side effects of chemo drugs….which is a good thing…so let those poor people have access to it…Any thing to help with the pain…
          You never know it could be you or a family member that could benefit from it.

      • Randy M
        June 19, 2013 at 11:03 am

        I wasn’t aware that that you could cure cancer with marijuana.

      • beenthere
        June 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

        @ dumbandblind Marijuana cures cancer???, only helps with pain and sickness from the effects of chemo, etc. Which is why it should be allowed, I just don’t understand why it is not more available to thosse people who really need it.

        • Palmdale_Steve
          June 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm

          I think what was meant was “cures toenail fungus”, or something like that.

        • William
          June 20, 2013 at 2:59 am

          Marijuana’s side-effects, if they were listed on teevee commercials. would be far less risky than most prescription drugs. Many warnings on those drugs we see on teevee include ‘possible death’ for treating non-life threatening conditions. Unbelievable.

          I guess the ‘weed’ needs better lobbyists than big pharma. Isn’t that the bottom line on the subject of legalizing it?

    • Hue Janis
      June 19, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Where am i going to score some ganja from now???????? Oh yeah the cops have some….

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