Suspects residing in Turlock and Keyes will face charges in court that they operated an illegal marijuana growing operation inside of a vacant bank-owned home in the 1500 block of Coty Court in Ceres.
Neighbors reported suspicious activity at the house with people coming and going and lights being left on in the garage. When officers responded at 9:13 p.m. Feb. 11, they saw lights on in the garage, smelled the strong odor of marijuana plants and heard voices coming from inside the house. Police surrounded the house and detained two men while a search warrant was obtained.
Nearly 400 marijuana plants had been discovered growing in pots in rooms inside the house and in the garage where electrical wires had been tampered with to bypass the electric meter. Police seized 53 16-inch-tall marijuana plants growing in one bedroom, 62 plants that were at least 18 inches in another room, 200 six-inch plants and 79 18-inch plants growing in the garage.
“They had been at it for several weeks,” said Ceres Police Department spokesman Sgt. Pat Crane.
Mario Valdivia, 26, of Keyes, and Pedro Farias, 29, of Turlock, were both arrested and charged with marijuana cultivation.