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It’s 2017 and people are still being busted over marijuana for some reason, and a 43-year-old mother named Stephanie Smith is the latest — although she had quite the bit of marijuana.
Smith, from California, was discovered to had been operating a pot growing operation that included over 24,000 plants in an empty warehouse with an electric bill that was about $67,000 a month. It all kicked off when investigators got complaints from a bunch of nosey neighbors, and that was enough for San Bernardino police to raid the property of the “weed queen.” And what did they find? Well they found something they described as a “weed fortress.”
Man, that’s actually impressive.
Police believe that the huge weed operation was reeling in millions of dollars-a-month in profit for Smith, who lived in an upscale neighborhood.
“In my 26 years, it was the biggest grow that I’ve ever seen,” San Bernardino police Lt. Mike Madden said. “There were all different rooms for different processes and hydration, filtration and ventilation. It was pretty extensive.”
They found the once-abandoned warehouse had been outfitted with a 12-foot metal rolling fence, “fortified doors,” a large concrete wall around the parking lot and surveillance cameras. Inside the four-story warehouse, police found thousands of plants stacked next to one another under heat lamps on wood tables and an advanced irrigation system.
Police and federal investigators raided three properties owned by Smith of Pacific Palisades, and seized 18,000 pounds of marijuana in total. Eight people who were working in the warehouse in downtown San Bernardino were detained by police, but no charges have been filed in the case, Madden said.
Investigators are still trying to determine where the marijuana was being sold, Madden said.
Smith has not been arrested or charged with a crime as of yet. And let’s not forget that California approved the legalization of marijuana, and growers must receive licenses and permits from local governments and the state.
If charges are filed against Smith, she faces a misdemeanor, jail time and a chance for HBO to make a show about her.