Why Merced County deputies helped the 'criminals' behind an illegal marijuana grow

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It started out as a story of crime but turned into a heartwarming tale in which the 'criminals' ended up thanking the cops.

Two Merced County deputies' hunt for an illegal marijuana grow last Tuesday led them to an elderly couple in Winton.

While the deputies were serving out a search warrant, they learned that the couple were growing the marijuana because they couldn't afford prescription medications.

The couple relied on a single social security check for all their needs, and simply couldn't afford any other way to address their medical needs.

That's when the deputies decided to help the two.

They informed the couple about how to grow marijuana legally and contacted an outreach organization.

The organization, New Direction, connected them with services that helped them meet their other needs.
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