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A 30-year-old man was arrested Monday in connection to a marijuana grow operation inside a residential unit in Martinez that caused a transformer fire on June 9. Martinez police and firefighters received a call reporting a fire at 4 Truitt Ave.Firefighters determined that the transformer blew as a result of being overloaded. The landlord of the property, John Bowe, 40, said he had been renting out a room at the residence to Julian Tays, 27. A records check of Bowe determined that he was on active probation for a misdemeanor conviction and was subject to a search and seizure.
Officers conducted a limited search of the residence and found an extensive indoor marijuana grow operation. Police arrested Bowe on suspicion of felony charges related to the grow operation. The tenant of the apartment, Julian Tays, brought himself in to the Martinez police department on Monday and was arrested on charges related to the marijuana grow, police said.
Bowe told police that Tays fled the property immediately after the transformer blew. Detectives obtained authorization for a complete search of the residence and determined there were 643 marijuana plants in various stages of maturity, police said. Police said there was evidence of a previous crop that had been cultivated and was still in the process of drying out. The weight of the drying marijuana was estimated to be about 5 pounds, police said.
Police also noted evidence of a manufacturing process to make hashish oil from marijuana, which uses multiple cans of highly volatile butane fuel in the manufacturing process.The equipment used to grow the marijuana has an estimated retail value of $30,000 and the potential yield from the plants is estimated at about $480,000.
A 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and a loaded 12-gauge shotgun were located in the residence at the time of the search. PG&E personnel told police that PG&E electrical power had been bypassed and that about 500 kilowatts of diverted power were being used daily. PG&E is still investigating the total cost of the diverted power.
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