After a series of recent high-profile marijuana busts, some have questioned why police are dedicating resources to dismantling grow houses. Police say the grow houses are more dangerous than people think.
An undercover officer from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department spoke to us on condition of anonymity. He has spent the last eight years tracking drugs. He says lately, officers are finding much more than drugs inside grow houses.
"It seems like this year we found more firearms on average," the undercover officer said. "Many of them were assault weapons with thousands of rounds of ammunition."
Police are also finding houses they call "explosions waiting to happen." Monday, police raided a house in southwest Las Vegas. The electrical system had been jerry-rigged to support an operation of nearly 200 plants.
"We've even seen instances where the suspect will bypass the Nevada Energy meter and run separate sub-panels in order to steal electricity."
While the crackdown on grow houses may be good for the general community, medical marijuana advocate Chris Egan said the seizures can give legal medical marijuana patients a bad name.
"It does make it a little bit nerve wracking because some patients could have a neighbor call something in when they're a law-abiding patient."
"Not only do we not target people with medical marijuana licenses, but we don't even have access to the database that lists all those folks," said the undercover officer.
Police told us they're targeting career criminals who bring crime into safe communities.
"If you're living next door to that house, do you want to take the chance that someone's going to break into your neighbor's house and get into a gun fight? You know, stucco walls don't stop bullets."
Monday, July 28 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:54:28 GMT
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