General Crime

* Thomas Speziale Arrested by Santa Cruz Deputies After Raid on Marijuana Growing Operation in Aptos

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An Aptos man was arrested Monday by sheriff’s deputies after a large indoor marijuana grow operation was found during a search of his home, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday. Deputies arrested Thomas Speziale, 31, after serving the search warrant at his home in the 3000 block of Redwood Drive and finding more than 500 marijuana plants, more than 5 pounds of processed marijuana, $3,000 in cash, hallucinogenic mushrooms and other controlled substances, according to the sheriff’s office.

Speziale was arrested at about 6 p.m. Monday on suspicion of possession for sale and cultivation of marijuana, possession of psilocybin mushrooms and possession of other controlled substances without a prescription. Upon further inspection of Speziale’s home, deputies found faulty wiring that they say posed a fire hazard because of the high amount of electricity the suspect was generating for the grow operation, the sheriff’s office said.

A Santa Cruz County Planning Department code enforcement officer red-tagged the home because of its non-permitted electrical wiring, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies also allegedly found exposed wires and drugs in areas that were easily accessible by a child living in the home.

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