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Pot raids in Delhi

POSTED February 21, 2014 4:25 p.m.

Merced County Sheriff’s deputies raided two Delhi homes after receiving tips they were being used as sites to grow marijuana.

The two anonymous tips generated one arrest, one arrest warrant and the seizure of hundreds of marijuana plants.

The first raid was conducted around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 16000 block of Palmento Court.

According to the sheriff’s department, the home had been converted into a multi-room growing operation. More than 200 marijuana plants were found at the residence in various stages of maturity.

The confiscated material from the home had an estimated street value of $450,000, the sheriff’s department reported.

Deputies arrested Didier Lopez, 46, on marijuana cultivation charges. Investigators also suspect Lopez was stealing power from Turlock Irrigation District.

The second raid occurred around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 16000 block of Glory Court, which is located behind Delhi Middle School.

Inside the home investigators found about 85 marijuana plants and a hash lab. The seized product had a street value of approximately $160,000, according to the sheriff’s department.

The sheriff’s department issued an arrest warrant for the resident, Arcadio Aguilar Maldonado, 55, who was not at home at the time of the raid. Maldonado is likely to be charged with marijuana cultivation. He also is suspected of stealing utilities from TID.

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