Stolen computer leads to marijuana grow room bust

FRESNO, Calif.

Only 9-plants were found inside the garage. But it's all the equipment and how the two suspects powered the marijuana grow room that has detectives thankful they caught them when they did.

"We knew something was going on up the street," said resident Camille.

Tonya Knapp said: "It dawned on us today that we've never seen the garage door open"

Tuesday morning residents in this Northeast Fresno neighborhood woke up to half a dozen police officers raiding a rental home looking for a stolen computer.

"While they were serving the search warrant they discovered what we found to be a marijuana grow," said Captain Al Maroney.

Maroney said two women and three children lived here along with two men … 32-year-old Carlos Dearmas and 27-year-old Eric Estrada who were both arrested. Once inside detectives noticed half the garage was converted into an insulated room to grow marijuana.

Maroney: "There were four very large grow lights on the inside, they also have a system set up to raise the lights up as the plants grew larger."

Investigators said those lights were high wattage and could have caught fire threatening everyone inside.

Resident Woody Porter said: "It's good nobody got killed or murdered or anything like that."

Knapp said: "This was shocking and it was a little disheartening."

Detectives were also alarmed to discover the two men managed to cut the power to the home rerouting it before it could reach the meter. Maroney said not only could cutting the line have killed them but they stole energy from PG&E.

Maroney: "This is probably one of the better examples of the relationship between marijuana grows, or drug usage and property crimes because one seems to feed the other leading to bigger and bigger problems."

The home owner said that he did not want to talk on camera but had no clue what was happening here. The children are remaining with their mothers however C.P.S. is investigating their safety. Detectives said the two men arrested face felony theft charges as well as possession of marijuana.

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