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Big Pot Bust in Quiet San Mateo Neighborhood

Authorities arrest a 49-year-old man who's allegedly growing a forest of weed.

 

A tip from a concerned citizen led authorities to a marijuana-growing operation Thursday afternoon in the 1200 Block of 31st Avenue in San Mateo.

According to San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force Commander Marc K. Alcantara, agents seized over 530 marijuana plants in various stages of growth. Alcantara estimates the potential street value of the marijuana plants at approximately $400,000.

A single family residence, located in a relatively quiet neighborhood, was being utilized to conceal the illegal indoor marijuana growing operation.

Agents from SMCNTF, with help from the San Mateo Police department, executed a search warrant during the afternoon.

One suspect, 49-year-old Yin Tang, was arrested at the residence on charges associated with the cultivation of marijuana. Tang is currently in custody at the Maguire Correctional facility. His arraignment is scheduled for March 12 at 1:30 pm in San Mateo County Northern Superior Court.

He is being charged with marijuana cultivation, and bail has been set at $15,000.

Alcantara believes the discovered marijuana cultivating operation was a strictly for-profit business that has no known ties to the medical marijuana industry.

To date, the Task Force says it has seized over 3500 plants and 19 pounds of processed marijuana from 5 grow locations in the county.

The investigation into the operation remains active, and agents are still actively gathering and analyzing evidence that may result in additional charges and/or the identification of co-conspirators.

Big B March 10, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Legalize it and you won't have this problem.
Brash Brazen March 10, 2012 at 08:57 AM
Another attack on California's #1 agricultural crop,fortunately just a miniscule amount although I'm sure it will be sorely missed !! When Pat Robertson calls for legalization the battle is over,unfortunately the prohibitionists are just too stupid to fall down !! Now that Congress has allowed Washington D.C. voters to approve medicinal marijuana the Feds won't be able to prosecute (or persecute) those following their state guidelines due to the "equal protection clause" of the U.S. Constitution. To wit "A right bestowed upon some must be granted to all." Banning cannabis dispensaries just enrichs dealers & has little if any effect on availability. As long as it remains illegal it will remain lucrative enough to insure there's plenty more to fill the incredible demand. It's estimated that legalization would save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars annually while creating tens of millions of dollars in new revenue for the state ! Legalized marijuana favored by over 50% of Americans (Gallup Poll) & more popular in California than Meg Whitman is coming soon to your town ! Kind of makes you proud to be an American !!
hutch March 10, 2012 at 06:06 PM
What's really sad is that this week the Feds targeted one of the States most reputable, honest and law abiding medical marijuana clubs. Melinda Haag, US Attorney for Northern California has shown total disregard for a clinic that is following the letter of law in California. Call or fax her and tell her we have much more important matters she should be dealing with. Phone: (415) 436-7200 Fax: (415) 436-7234. If you are pro medical marijuana read more about this attack on Hope Nets web site http://hopenetcompassion.org/home/
ellen davison March 10, 2012 at 07:47 PM
OOOOOOOO big bust for the cops what a joke and a waste of tax payers money!!!!!!!! Why are we still attacking pot and the people who use it Is it because it's use is so wide spread it is an easy target for law enforcement to look successful Seems their resources could be better served elsewhere plenty of crime out there!
Bhatman March 10, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Pig farming is legal but not in the middle of urban areas (to the chagrin of Libertarians). Pot cultivation in the middle of a residential area draws crime, guns, violence and bad real-estate karma like a bee to honey. Legalize it -- grow it in areas zoned for agriculture, keep it off public lands.
Bren March 10, 2012 at 09:58 PM
This is a complete waste of our tax dollars. How much money did this investigation and raid cost? How much will it cost to prosecute this case? All that money could have been used to keep violent felons off our streets. Instead, it's being used to prosecute a victimless "crime." Disgusting.
Bren March 10, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Phyllis, that is a bizarre statement. What are you basing it on? You do understand, don't you, that marijuana plants, like any other plant, have a high water content? Your home is probably a bigger fire hazard than this pot farm.
hutch March 11, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Annette, Law enforcement likes to exaggerate. I know some growers. Most grow operations are not run by gangs but by individuals. No guns no terrorists. Just people trying to grow a herb to make some money. Should they be in neighborhoods? No.
hutch March 11, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Well to be fair there have been several fires due to jerry rigged wiring for all the halogen lights. A suburban neighborhood is probably not the best place for a large growing operation.
hutch March 11, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Let me tell you all something. 30 years ago my mother had a mastectomy and was battling breast cancer. I went back east to see her and she said "open that drawer" next to her bed. There I found a big bag of marijuana. I was shocked. My mother never did something like that. Then she told me how it gave her an appetite with the chemo and made her feel better. And you know what, if it provides the slightest bit of relief to people in pain what is the problem? Our doctors prescribe tons of damaging addicting medication with bad side effects. What is so bad with prescribing something with very little bad consequences that people say helps them?
Bren March 11, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Annette S, you are making all kinds of assumptions that have no basis in reality. Have you ever actually met a pot grower? Have you had a conversation with them? Toured their facility? Obviously not, because if you had, you'd know that standard household electrics are more than adequate for their lighting needs, and you'd be embarrassed for making the laughable assumption that dangerous gangs are involved in the pot business. You know who grows pot, Annette? Stay-at-home moms, retired people, and pretty much every other type of person you can think of. The chances are you already have a pot growing operation in your neighborhood, yet, by some miracle, your children are still alive and your property values are unaffected. Why? Because growing pot is not a harmful activity.
hutch March 11, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Annette I agree this should not be happening in a suburban neighborhood. Bu these probably weren't gangs running this operation.
Bren March 11, 2012 at 03:53 AM
So, basically, you want to live your sheltered little suburban existence, and you're quite eager to see somebody thrown in jail for years and years for committing a victimless "crime" that doesn't happen to fit in with your narrow view of what life in the suburbs is supposed to be like. I wonder what other things you're intolerant about?
Bren March 11, 2012 at 04:10 AM
"Your" does not mean "you are." The word you should have typed was "you're."
Alice Stoddard March 11, 2012 at 05:43 AM
Pot smokers are funny.
Bren March 11, 2012 at 05:58 AM
Annette seems to be laboring under the delusion that I'm a pot smoker, and so I guess you are too? No, actually. You don't have to be a pothead to support ending our ruinous war on drugs; you just have to love freedom and justice.
Bren March 11, 2012 at 07:23 AM
Wow, Ann sounds really angry!
Annette S March 11, 2012 at 07:31 AM
not angry at all Bren, laughing my ass off.
Bren March 11, 2012 at 07:40 AM
Reading between the lines of your previous comments, Ann, it sounds like you're rather intimately familiar with the grow operation that got busted. Are you one of their competitors? Is that what this is really about? You can level with me; I know how to keep my mouth shut.
Bren March 11, 2012 at 07:54 AM
Illegal and immoral are not the same thing, and there's nothing bizarre about suggesting that our destructive war on drugs, which is actually a war against the American people, ought to end.
hutch March 11, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Does that include heroin, meth and crack Brendan? It hasn't worked in the Netherlands. Wow what's with all the deleted comments? I didn't see anything bad.
Pacificat March 11, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Yes, that includes heroin (opiates), methamphetamines, and cocaine (crack). Ending the war on these drugs doesn't mean legalizing them with no regulations. In fact, all these drugs are currently available in some form in the U.S. with a prescription. But according to the federal government, cannabis is not legal in any form, even with a prescription.
Vaporizerz March 11, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Nice set up what a shame
Bren March 11, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Perhaps we've been invaded by Yelp flaggers!?
Bren March 11, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Uh, oh: I just tried to post a comment, but it didn't show up. Am I in Yitmo?
Jordan March 11, 2012 at 10:59 PM
why don't you keep you damn mouth shut and just leave it be. Getting all defensive for what? Take it from the view point of a family with young children. How would you feel if you were a father of young children and all you know is that there some kind of drug growing operation in the house across the street from you? Kind of scary, specially when you have no idea who is operating it, what kind of people are in the house and what they have or can do. This house is obviously in the suburbs in a really nice well kept neighborhood. In all means, I have no problem with growing a few plants, smoking it, legalizing it whatever but when a group of people are illegally growing up too 600 plants in a nice neighborhood is a problem. Go rent out a warehouse or a field to grow you plants. not in a residential neighborhood. and for you "Bren" your rude comments to everyone one this article is a little uncalled for.
Jp March 11, 2012 at 11:02 PM
why don't you keep you damn mouth shut and just leave it be. Getting all defensive for what? Take it from the view point of a family with young children. How would you feel if you were a father of young children and all you know is that there some kind of drug growing operation in the house across the street from you? Kind of scary, specially when you have no idea who is operating it, what kind of people are in the house and what they have or can do. This house is obviously in the suburbs in a really nice well kept neighborhood. In all means, I have no problem with growing a few plants, smoking it, legalizing it whatever but when a group of people are illegally growing up too 600 plants in a nice neighborhood is a problem. Go rent out a warehouse or a field to grow your plants. not in a residential neighborhood. and for you "Bren" your rude comments to everyone one this article is a little uncalled for.
Bren March 11, 2012 at 11:41 PM
You're the one exploding with rage, demanding that I keep my "damn" mouth shut. Interesting that the dividing line for you is whether or not the growing operation is occurring in a "nice, well-kept neighborhood." So, basically, you're perfectly OK with pot being grown in poor people's neighborhoods, but not where there are rich people who might be made uncomfortable. Your classist elitism is very typical of San Mateo county.
bernie July 31, 2012 at 04:37 AM
So the guy wants to live in a nice neighborhood and not way up in northern California where a house fire could set trees on fire? Let the guy grow in a commercial space. Oh that's right you won't let him to that. such bastards in San Mateo county.
Izec October 15, 2012 at 03:42 PM
lol good one bren

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