Pot Thieves Busted Bogarting $1M Stash

Saturday, Jun 4, 2011  |  Updated 3:44 PM PDT
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Pot Thieves Busted Bogarting $1M Stash

Jose Hernandez

Police seized $1 million in marijuana plants in the biggest drug bust in El Monte history.

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Five men trying to break into an illicit indoor marijuana plantation were arrested in El Monte Saturday, leading police to a trove of 3,000 growing plants with a street value of about $1 million.

The suspects ``all had gloves and clippers," said El Monte police detective Ralph Batres. ``Who breaks into a business wearing gloves and clippers?'' he asked with a laugh.

``They also had a U-Haul truck. They were there to rip it off."


Sometime earlier today, authorities received a call of some suspects trying to break into a warehouse at 2520 Continental Ave.

That location borders the city of El Monte, which has its own police department, and South El Monte, which is patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.


Deputies arrived first, and called in the El Monte Police Department. The suspects were arrested about 11:30 a.m. ``One of the guys (suspects) said there was a marijuana operations inside,"

Batres said. El Monte police detectives were eventually able to get a search warrant for the Continental Avenue business. Batres said police were still rounding up the names of the suspects and finding out how they knew about the marijuana operation.
The identity of the plantation farmers was also very likely to be a matter of police curiosity, Batres said.
 

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