A report of trespassing and possible utility theft, led Merced county Sheriff’s deputies to a large scale marijuana grow operating out of a Delhi home.
Deputies were dispatched to the home in the 14000 block of 2nd Avenue South in Delhi. When deputies arrived they found evidence of a possible indoor marijuana grow and could hear suspects inside but no one would come to the door, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie.
The Merced/Mariposa High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force was called to the scene to take over the investigation. After obtaining a search warrant for the residence, agents hit the house and found 75 pounds of processed marijuana worth over $250,000; another 550 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, and a very sophisticated equipment set-up worth thousands of dollars to grow marijuana, MacKenzie said.
Deputies had been stationed in a perimeter around the property and as the search was happening, the deputies could hear movement coming from underneath the trailer.
Two suspects — Shao Fan, 28, and Peng Chan, 31, both of San Francisco — were found hiding under the double wide trailer through cutouts under the flooring, created as an escape route. Both were taken into custody without incident.
During the investigation agents discovered that the suspects had re-routed the electrical wiring to bypass the meter, stealing anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 a month worth of electricity for their grow, MacKenzie said. The whole trailer had been hollowed out for the purpose of growing marijuana.
Chan was booked on marijuana cultivation, possession for sale of marijuana, theft of utilities, conspiracy to commit a crime and maintaining a house for the purpose of narcotics sales and remains jailed on $295,000 bail. Fen, who is already on parole for marijuana cultivation, was booked on an additional charge of cultivation, possession for sale of marijuana, maintaining a house for the sales of narcotics, utility theft and conspiracy to commit a crime and remains jailed on $295,000 bail.
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