Federal drug agents raid Daly City home 

Federal law enforcement agents raided a Daly City home on Wednesday, underscoring the growing presence of indoor pot-growing operations in suburban neighborhoods in San Mateo County, particularly Pacifica and Daly City.

The home at 1129 Skyline Drive in Daly City was searched by U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency officials in connection with an expanding investigation of such operations that discovered marijuana growing operations in 41 houses lastfall in the Central Valley and captured an estimated $94 million in marijuana.

In Wednesday’s raids in Daly City, San Francisco and Union City, no arrests were made and no plants were seized, but agents took some items, said DEA Special Agent Gordon Taylor.

Officials believe the facilities, which utilize every square inch of space in vacant suburban homes, are tied to a Bay Area Asian crime syndicate that has also exported its plant-growing operation to the new communities popping up in places like Stockton, Tracy, Elk Grove and Sacramento.

A similar growing operation was also found in a San Bruno home Dec. 30 after a roof fire alerted officials. However, local resident Aaron Seits, 23, has been arrested in that case and police say there is no connection to the Central Valley case.

Agents say they linked a majority of the 20 homes that were raided in Stockton last September through a Daly City real estate broker who negotiated the sales.

"Essentially, you have a Bay Area crime operation that has exported its indoor marijuana operations to Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties," Taylor said.

On Jan. 12, the DEA raided six homes in Lathrop and one in Tracy — all with active pot-growing operations — and seized 4,931 plants worth an estimated $20 million, Taylor said.

The number of indoor marijuana plants seized by narcotics agents climbed by more than 5,000 last year when officials nabbed 5,346 indoor-cultivated plants between January and October.

In 2005, only 266 plants were seized, said Comm. Mark Weis of the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force, a "huge increase" in indoor marijuana growing operations in the last two years.

Statewide, there were 196,994 indoor plants seized in 2006, doubling the 98,595 such plants seized in 2005, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. In 2004, 54,569 plants were seized by officials in California.

Weis estimated that in the last nine months, agents had investigated such operations an average of once a month with the "vast majority" of those taking place in Daly City and Pacifica.

Agent Mike Brennan, a Daly City officer with the county’s Narcotics Task Force, said the cases they’ve handled have primarily involved Asians, but have included a range of cultures.

E-mail David Smith at dsmith@examiner.com.

Tags: ,

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

Bio:
A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
Pin It
Favorite

More by Staff Report

© 2018 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation