Three people, including a husband-and-wife team, were arrested as deputies served a series of warrants at unlicensed marijuana growing operations in western Riverside County this week.
The first two raids occurred Thursday at two separate grow houses in Lake Elsinore, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Around 7:20 a.m., officials searched a home on the 4000 Block of Ash Street. Neighbors had reported suspicious activity at the residence in late January, the department said in a news release.
Once inside, authorities say they discovered 35-year-old Andrew Vu and his wife Thu Vu, 31, were living in part of the home while the remainder had been renovated to support cultivation. They also allegedly found an altered electrical system that allowed the pair to pilfer an estimated $19,000 worth of energy.
The deputies seized weed plants and arrested the couple on suspicion of illegal marijuana cultivation, utilities theft, maintaining a drug house and marijuana possession with the intent to distribute.
A second raid was carried out simultaneously at a house on the 40900 Block of Diana Lane that was also the subject of complaints, the Sheriff’s Department said.
About 1,250 pot plants were confiscated, and the home’s electrical wiring had similarly been tampered with, this time estimated to have cost Southern California Edison roughly $40,730. However, no arrests were made at this location, deputies said.
Both homes were deemed uninhabitable by building and safety officials.
On Friday, deputies raided an outdoor grow on the 22200 block of Markham Street in the unincorporated community of Mead Valley. Authorities say they destroyed nearly 1,100 marijuana plants that were being grown in greenhouses.
A gun was found in a home on the property, and the man who lives there — 64-year-old Alonzo Ivory — was arrested on suspicion of illegal marijuana cultivation and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, officials said.
Inmate records show Andrew Vu was released on $20,000 bail hours after his arrest Thursday, while Thu Vu was released Friday on $50,000 bail. She had a court appearance scheduled for March 27, while he is set to appear April 13.
Ivory remained in custody Friday night and was expected to appear in court Feb. 19, according to the booking records.