Police raid 'sophisticated' pot house
by Joel Danoy
Jun 19, 2013 | 8841 views | 6 6 comments | 121 121 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Police search pot house
Tracy police officers remove a charcoal air filter from a house at 2965 Whigham Court, where they found 235 marijuana plants in various stages of growth on Wednesday, June 19.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Tracy police recently raided two marijuana grow houses, with one search coming after two men allegedly connected to another grow house raided last week were recognized in the Tracy Press.

Officers from the Special Investigations Unit of the Tracy Police Department searched a residence at 2965 Whigham Court on Wednesday, June 19, where they found 235 marijuana plants in various stages of growth in the house, according to Sgt. Alex Neicu.

Hai Tuong Nguyen, 31, is wanted in connection with this grow operation, and a second raid that police conducted on June 11 at a residence at 1845 Kagehiro Drive, Neicu said Wednesday outside of the Whigham Court house.

Police cut down 475 mature plants from at least 11 different growing areas inside the Kagehiro Drive home.

Nguyen is wanted on charges of cultivation of marijuana and power theft for his alleged role in the two operations. He has known connections in Tracy and the San Jose area.

The setup on Whigham Court was described by Neicu as “sophisticated” however he noted that the operation was partially dismantled because the alleged growers “probably knew we were coming.”

“Basically they have a timer that’s set to the grow lights and fans that are on the plants,” he said. “They had a lot of pots where the plants were just literally a few inches and then they can grow to be three or four or five feet.”

From the front door, tarps were seen hanging from the ceiling to the floor, and two ventilation tubes at least three feet in diameter were running from the downstairs through the ceiling of the second floor and into the attic.

Officers were seen removing large air filters and lighting from the house.

Baljit Hari, who lives on the block, said the homeowners moved out about eight months ago, and that he would see “some people come and go, but the curtains were always drawn.”

“I’ve seen some like Chinese people over there, and when I talked to them, they were doing the lawn and stuff,” Hari said. “A man said he had some type of Apple repair shop and he was like ‘We are renting the house.’”

Hari never noticed any smell related to marijuana, but said the home’s air conditioning was constantly running.

“I’ve seen the A/C running at like weird temperatures outside, like when it was cool and breezy outside, but their A/C is still going on,” he said. “There used to be this Honda car and an Audi A4 that was parked outside but they would never stay long.”

The Special Investigations Unit also searched a residence at 970 Cherry Blossom Lane on Saturday, June 15, where officers found 381 marijuana plants, according to Neicu.

Hieu Cong Nguyen. 19, and Ahn The Ngo, 29, are allegedly involved with that grow operation and a second grow spot police raided at 3741 Norfolk Drive on June 12.

Officers were tipped off about the home on Cherry Blossom Lane when someone recognized the men’s pictures, which were paired with a story in the Tracy Press on Friday, June 14, about the Norfolk Drive raid.

The two men are wanted on charges of cultivating marijuana and utilities theft for their alleged involvement in the two operations. They have known connections in the San Jose area.

Marijuana found at the Cherry Blossom Drive home has an estimated street value of $200,000, according to Neicu.

The illegal setup bypassed the power meter, which caused a loss of about $20,000 for Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Neicu said.

The recent raids have all occurred at rental homes, according to Lt. Mark Duxbury.

He said signs of illegal grow operations include an unkempt yard, garbage cans not being put each week, flyers accumulating on the porch and people only staying for short periods of time.

“Once someone from the neighborhood starts seeing these signs, we hope to be receiving additional tips,” Duxbury said. “Any time there is an increase in rental properties, that’s what they are using them for, so that’s probably the case.”

Anyone with information about the three men wanted in connection with these raids, or other active grow houses should contact Tracy Crime Stopper.

Anonymous tips can be made by calling 831-4847; texting TIPTPD to 274637 with the tip; or online at www.tracycrimestoppers.com.

• Contact Joel Danoy at 830-4229 or jdanoy@tracypress.com.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
June 21, 2013
Grow houses. Many of the clubs will not buy anything but indoor grown pot. Indoor growers and, the association with other drugs,Previous bust for "Honey Oil", everything from Pharmaceuticals to cocaine. They begin by stealing PG&E. Can't make a profit unless they do. None of these indoor grow operations are that "Sophisticated". They all have that one issue. Energy to run the operation. If they do as they have done, energy cost=-0-. How can they possibly derive energy with out doing something illegal?
June 20, 2013
Oh please, I have not met a single race of people that did not enjoy the marijuana. Why do you think the government wants it to be illegal.

If black, white, brown, all sat together, shared the peace pipe, and realized how pathetic our government is, there would be some real change.

But in order to conquer you must divide!
June 21, 2013

Your comment is asinine.
June 20, 2013
Malia, I'll apologize in advance if you are a different Malia but if the same as a couple of years ago you are a hypocrite for your admonishment of LMLM.

You and bookhater/cathlab not only specialized in personal attacks against anyone such as dcose & I who had a different political view, at one point you two clowns went after my family. Also, your understanding of politics and how the world works in general went beyond the ignorance you accuse LMLM of and entered the realm of outright stupidity.

Remember how it worked? Dcose or I would make fact based points and because you and BH had no intelligent & civil counter you always responded with personal attacks - yep, I have a good memory and never forget people like you.

Once again, if you are a different Malia I apologize and please disregard this comment.
June 20, 2013
LMLM, So in addition to being one of the most negative people posting comments here, you also have a problem with Asian's, great.

I'll repeat what I've written before, I sincerely hope you find happiness when you move out of this hell hole of a town you so richly despise, and please take your offensive & negative attitude with you as it's becoming rather boorish.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation.
June 20, 2013
Can landlords face legal trouble for tenants that deal/grow illegal drugs on/in a rental property? Yes! They may face fines (Fed., State, Local). Further, any person that is injured or bothered by the offending tenants, may sue the landlord re public nuisance or posing a danger to the community. There could even be criminal liability on the landlord if he/she had any knowledge of the activity.

We rented out our home for three years. We hired a good property manager and she did all the appropriate screening and references. We would not have done anything less... for the benefit of our good neighbors, and property values.

With regard to the previous comment on this article, racism and slurs are ignorant. Shame on you for being so offensive. I am surprised the Tracy Press allowed it to be posted.

We encourage readers to share online comments in this forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a space for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Comments that stray from the topic of the story or are found to contain abusive language are subject to removal at the Press’ discretion, and the writer responsible will be subject to being blocked from making further comments and have their past comments deleted. Readers may report inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at tpnews@tracypress.com.