Metro Cracks Down on Grow Houses

LAS VEGAS -- Indoor marijuana grow operations have become an epidemic in Las Vegas, according to Metro Police.

Police released a YouTube video Monday giving an inside look at one of the most sophisticated grow houses investigators have ever seen.

Investigators said David Garretson and Derek Parker were behind the operation with more than 130 plants with a street value of $600,000 and 21 guns.

The release of the video intends to show how dangerous grow houses are and also to send a message to criminals engaging in illegal activities around the valley.

Metro Lt. Laz Chavez said the video shows the dangers of marijuana grow houses hidden within the community.

"This is a priority for us. We're very serious in our attack of this epidemic in our community, and we are going to do everything we can to stop it," Chavez said. "Based on what I've seen and the chemicals inside the grow houses and all the exposed wiring, it was just a matter of time before this grow caught on fire."

In a house shown on the video, the set up inside caught the eye of investigators for its organization and tidiness. Given the elaborate set-up, police said they wanted to showcase what's become a huge problem throughout the valley.

"It was a combination of the volume that we have seen, the fact that this particular operation was a fairly neat, sophisticated operation as it was one that lent itself to video," Metro spokesman Bill Cassell said. "A lot of the marijuana grow operations that we successfully busted are based on tips, people in the community that notice something just isn't right."

Investigators said more than 115 grow houses have netted tens of millions of dollars in pot busts. 

Police said one of the suspect's 10-year-old son was living in the house as the grow operation was going on.

During pot busts this year, 164 firearms have also been recovered.


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