In recent days, San Jose city firefighters have uncovered marijuana growing systems as they have worked to put out fires in several vacant homes; the most recent occurred on Sunday, when firefighters were called to battle a garage fire at a home near North King Road in the 500 block of Scottsville Ct.
Police detectives were called in to investigate the grow houses, although they do not yet know who ran them. Officer Albert Morales, spokesman for the San Jose police, stated in news reports that “the growing systems have been described as elaborate.” Detectives are having a difficult time determining who ran the houses due to fake identity information such as fraudulent Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses given to property managers. Morales did say that it appears that different people ran the two marijuana growing operations that have been discovered.
Fire Captain Reggie Williams told reporters that the garage fire was electrical-related, and that the growing operation was “very, very, high-tech.” He said that it looked like a manufacturing facility, with large illuminated light bulbs, marijuana plants on the floor, and a material lining the walls similar to tin foil. Williams said that most likely faulty wiring caused the fire, as the PG&E meter in the garage was bypassed when electrical wiring was run, creating heat.
In all, approximately 300 pot plants were confiscated from the home according to Morales.
On the previous Wednesday, firefighters discovered another grow house in the 1800 block of Fumia Place in North San Jose near Oakland Road after responding to a two-alarm fire in which an upstairs bedroom eventually burned and collapsed into a living room. About 80 plants were found at the rented residence, according to San Jose police. No suspects have been identified in the grow house operations so far.
San Jose drug crimes attorneys realize the serious criminal penalties individuals accused of maintaining grow houses face if convicted. In most cases, a first-time offender will face up to three years in prison or probation, along with monetary fines. When probation is granted to the offender, he or she may be required to report to a probation officer for as long as three years, and spend one year of that time in county jail.
If you have been charged with maintaining a grow house or are under investigation, contact an experienced San Jose criminal defense lawyer at once for skilled legal guidance.