Mountain View Police Department's “See Something, Say Something” campaign is credited for a tip that this week led to the bust of a massive marijuana operation on the 1100 block of Independence Avenue.
After a lengthy investigation led by the Crime Suppression Unit, enough evidence was collected to attain three search warrants for the Mountain View business along with two residences in San Jose, that netted more than $500,000 of marijuana and weapons, including a high-powered rifle, U.S. currency and three arrested suspected, police said.
On Thursday at 3 p.m., all three locations were simultaneously served with their respective search warrants with assistance from Mountain View’s Crimes Against Persons, Gang Suppression Unit and Youth Services Units, as well as partners with the Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team, Regional Auto Theft Task Force, Milpitas Police Department and San Jose Police Department’s Bomb Unit, police said.
“This investigation was much more than just an illegal marijuana grow,” said Keith Plamondon, Lieutenant in charge of MVPD’s Investigative Services Division. “Illegal weapons, some of which were stolen, and narcotics were recovered during the searches highlighting the importance of the community’s involvement in crime fighting.”
The Mountain View location revealed an extremely sophisticated grow house used to nurture and mature marijuana plants, the department said. More than 800 plants were located along with specialized indoor lighting and filtration systems.
MVPD’s Field Evidence Team was on-hand to collect and process the evidence, which took several hours, police said.
In San Jose, the search warrant completed on the 3100 block of Kirk Avenue netted more than 30 pounds of dried and packed marijuana along with over $10,000 in U.S. currency, police said.
A honey oil lab was also located at the Kirk Avenue home, according to police, adding that these labs can be as dangerous as meth labs as they produce a very concentrated form of marijuana, which is done by extracting oil and THC similar to the consistency of honey.
Several firearms were also seized, including one stolen from a home in Mountain View back in 2010, police said.
A toddler, who was in the temporary care of the adults, was unfortunately present and taken into protective custody.
At the 1200 block of Branham Lane search warrant, also in San Jose, detectives discovered several illegal weapons two of which were reported stolen, methamphetamine and two military-grade flash bang/stun grenades resulting in a call-out of San Jose Police Department’s Bomb Unit.
“This case demonstrates the importance of the cooperation between local police agencies and county-wide task forces. More often than not, property crimes, drugs and violent crimes are interrelated,” said Captain Jessica Nowaski who oversees MVPD’s Investigative Services Division. “Our community– from children to the elderly — are impacted significantly by criminals like the ones arrested in yesterday’s case.”
Three adult suspects were arrested during the search warrants conducted in San Jose: 33-year-old Semir Metovic; 32-year-old Tito Hernandez;and 29-year-old Abby Rose.
All are from San Jose and were booked for a myriad of Penal Code (PC) and Health and Safety Code (H&S) offenses, including:
- 11359 H&S – Possession of marijuana for sales
- 11358 H&S – Cultivation
- 11360 H&S – Distribution
- 23900 PC – Alter/Remove serial number on a firearm
- 29800(A)(1) PC – Felon in possession of a firearm
- 30305(A)(1) PC – Felon in possession of ammunition
- 18715(A)(1) PC – Possession of a destructive device
- 496(A) PC – Possession of stolen property
- 273a(A) PC – Felony child endangerment
- 11379.6 H&S – Manufacture Controlled Substance (honey oil lab)
- 32310(A) PC – Possess high capacity magazine