General Crime

* Gilroy Police Investigate Two Separate illegal Indoor Marijuana Cultivations This Week

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Gilroy police arrested a man and identified a suspect in two separate cases this week on suspicion of illegally cultivating marijuana indoors. Around 5 p.m. on Thursday, officers served a search warrant at a home in the 600 block of Johnson Way after receiving tips the home was being used to cultivate marijuana, according to police. Officers were not able to find any marijuana plants and believe that the suspect may have processed the marijuana. Detectives did, however, spot signs of marijuana cultivation. PG&E determined that someone had tampered with the home’s electrical power to facilitate the cultivation, and officers came across a “large amount” of marijuana cultivation equipment and material, according to police. No one was at the home when the search warrant was served.

Police are continuing to investigate leads and have identified a suspect in the case, but are withholding the suspect’s name pending further investigation. At about 9 p.m. on Wednesday, firefighters responded to a blaze at a home in the 6400 block of Church Street, police said. As part of their investigation into the cause of the fire, investigators conducted a safety inspection and found that the home’s electrical power had not been tampered with. They found, however, multiple marijuana plants and determined that a man set the fire intentionally in the garage, police said. During a search of the home, police officers found and seized nearly 120 starter marijuana plants, worth an estimated $120,000, as well as marijuana cultivation equipment and material.

Officers arrested Khang Hoang, a 34-year-old San Jose resident, on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, sales of marijuana, and possession of  narcotic paraphernalia. Police believe the two cases are not related. The two grow houses are the second and third operations that officers have found in the last few weeks. Police said indoor marijuana cultivations present a significant safety threat to homes because of fire risks created by people improperly tampering with PG&E electrical power to conceal their activity and to steal power from PG&E. Furthermore, the extremely humid conditions and concentrated liquids necessary to cultivate marijuana indoors increase the risk of  respiratory illness, police said. They ask anyone with information on either case to call Corp. Brian Dutton at (408) 846-0350. To leave anonymous tips, call (800) 782-7463.

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