Los Banos pot bust leads to discovery of $1.6 million in plants, two arrests

03/31/2014 6:31 PM

04/01/2014 12:04 AM

The Los Banos Police Department confiscated $1.6 million worth of marijuana and made two arrests Monday as it served search warrants on four homes suspected of being illegal grow sites.

Cmdr. Jason Hedden said police discovered marijuana grow operations on the 100 block of North Santa Rosa Street, 400 block of Vine Street, 1700 block of San Simeone Way and the 600 block of Kensington Circle. Hedden said the marijuana grows do not appear to be connected.

“These were sophisticated operations,” Hedden said. “They had systems controlling the lighting; they all were stealing electricity.”

Hedden said the home on Vine Street had electric wires that were beginning to melt – a fire hazard – due to the amount of electricity being used.

Jesus Efrain Lopez-Felix, 21, was arrested at the North Santa Rosa Street address and Se Min Kin (aka Mike Parks) was taken into custody at the San Simeone Way home, both on suspicion of cultivating and possession of marijuana and stealing electricity.

Lopez-Felix is being held at the Los Banos Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail. Kin was released after posting bail.

Sgt. Ivan Mendez said police are searching for other people believed to be involved in the four marijuana operations.

Search warrants were served at the homes starting at 9 a.m., police said, and officers spent the next five hours gathering evidence.

Hedden said law enforcement will emphasize eradicating illegal marijuana grow operations in Los Banos.

“I’m sure there are more houses out there like this. We will make arrests whenever these pop up,” he said.

Anyone with information about this incident can call the Los Banos Police Department at (209) 827-7070, ext. 0.

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