Two weeks ago San Jose police uncovered a sophisticated pot grow operation and marijuana crop worth millions.
It’s a move that will be sure to send reverberations through grow farms across the state, disrupting not only local supplies but the peace of mind of individuals unsure if they are skirting state cannabis laws, whether intentionally or not.
“Operation Greensweep” as the raid was aptly named, was controlled from a house on Winsted Court (located in San Jose city). However, that wasn’t the only home where the plants were in full bloom.
According to San Jose police, a truck bed filled with mature marijuana was just a minuscule fraction of what was seized in one of the city’s biggest pot raids.
Police stated the homes all had sophisticated systems for security and cultivation. The growers allegedly hijacked power and water from neighbors and PG&E.
“We were able to recover approximately 1,872 plants in total,” said Albert Morales with the San Jose Police Department.
“We believe this is part of a larger operation, but it’s going to require a lot of follow up as to who the owners of the (other) properties were, said Morales. So, a very, very significant arrest and a very significant seizure.”
Police began to look more closely at houses on Winsted Court after a tip from a landlord last April. It was then police began to identify a network of suspected grow houses, allegedly controlled by suspects who lived in a separate house on Winsted Court.
It was one of these houses– a well-kept home on Dubanski Drive–that was targeted by the elite Metro Unit. In simultaneous search warrant raids, San Jose officers literally knocked down the doors and rounded up the individuals inside.
It was inside one of these homes that police identified two main suspects, San Jose residents Dean Minh Trinh, 39, and Kim Chai Le, 38. Both were questioned and arrested on site.
San Jose pot grow suspects Dean Trinh and Kim Le (San Jose Police Department)
The total street value of what officials seized was four to five million dollars, according to San Jose police.
My name is Petey Wheatstraw, also known as Charles Stevens. I’m an avid marijuana smoker, writer, devoted father and non-profit minion– not necessarily in that order. A Chicago native I’ve lived off and on in the Bay Area since 1996. Seven years ago I finally settled here to capture the changing face of our communities.