Stephanie Smith, a 43-year-old mother from California, is being questioned by authorities after they discovered a marijuana growing operation that included over 24,000 plants.
On Wednesday, December 13, San Bernardino police raided properties that belonged to Smith after detectives investigated a tip about marijuana being grown in an empty warehouse after neighbors complained about two months ago.
When raiding the facility, authorities realized they had found multi-building operation. Police believe that Smith’s marijuana growing operation was netting millions of dollars-a-month in profit.
San Bernardino Police say eight people were detained when they raided the warehouse. Despite this, Smith was neither arrested nor charged with a crime.
via CBS News:
Investigators first turned their sights on the illegal grow operation about two months ago after receiving complaints from neighbors. They found the once-abandoned warehouse had been outfitted with a 12-foot metal rolling fence, “fortified doors,” a large concrete wall around the parking lot and surveillance cameras.
Inside the four-story warehouse, police found thousands of plants stacked next to one another under heat lamps on wood tables and an advanced irrigation system. The electric bill for the property was about $67,000 per month, police said.
“In my 26 years, it was the biggest grow that I’ve ever seen,” San Bernardino police Lt. Mike Madden said. “There were all different rooms for different processes and hydration, filtration and ventilation. It was pretty extensive.”
According to sources, Smith was making millions of dollars per month running the operation. At this time, while it is unclear whether she will be arrested, if charges are filed, Smith faces a misdemeanor, jail time and a fine at the state level.
While California is among 29 states where pot is legal, either for medical or recreational use, police said that Smith was not authorized to grow marijuana on this scale.