MERCED — A 20-year-old man was arrested last week after Merced County sheriff's deputies raided an indoor marijuana growing operation and discovered 1,425 plants near Atwater.
Victor Farias Aguilar, 20, was taken into custody after Sgt. Kevin Blake and the STAR Team served a search warrant Feb. 26 at a residence in the 2500 block of Valley Drive off Ashby Road, according to deputy Delray Shelton.
Deputies forced their way into the home and discovered marijuana plants growing in the four bedrooms of the house, Shelton said. During the search, deputies also found a semi-automatic handgun.
Deputies also learned from PG&E that the occupants of the home had bypassed the home's electrical system, amounting to utility theft of about $4,000 a month, Shelton said.
Farias was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of cultivating marijuana. He has been released on bail.
-- Sun-Star staff