General Crime

* Aleen Lam and Virginia Chan Pon, elderly women arrested on suspicion of running a marijuana-growing operation in San Bruno

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Two elderly women have been arrested for allegedly running a marijuana-growing operation out of their San Bruno home, San Mateo County’s district attorney said today.San Bruno police went to a house on Valleywood Drive on Friday after neighbors heard loud banging noises and saw two men break through the front door, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

The men had exited the home after a few minutes and drove off in a BMW.The two men, later identified as Kitae Chae, 38, and Kenny Kong, 34, were later pulled over by San Bruno police in South San Francisco, he said. Police recovered $12,000 in cash, seven ecstasy pills, dust masks and sealed plastic bags from the BMW, Wagstaffe said. Investigators with the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force returned to the home on Valleywood Drive and uncovered an indoor marijuana grow allegedly operated by two women who lived there, 72-year-old Aleen Lam and 65-year-old Virginia Chan Pon, according to Wagstaffe.

Investigators found more than 800 marijuana plants being grown with electricity that bypassed PG&E meters and $3,000 in cash, Wagstaffe said.Lam and Pon, who has a pending criminal case in Yolo County where she is accused of passing $40,000 in bad checks at Cache Creek Casino, both pleaded not guilty to possession of marijuana for sale, cultivating marijuana for sale, operating a grow house and stealing electricity.Both women are in custody on $100,000 bail, Wagstaffe said.

The court has required that the defendants be able to show a legitimate source for any bail posted.Chae and Kong pleaded not guilty to burglary and drug charges on Monday. Both defendants are also in custody on $100,000 bail, with the same posting requirements as the women.All four suspects are scheduled to be back in court May 13 for a preliminary hearing.

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