Monterey Park police arrest Rosemead man in connection with Rancho Cucamonga marijuana grow

Monterey Park police raided homes in Rosemead and Rancho Cucamonga early Thursday, recovering more than 155 pounds and arresting a Rosemead man on suspicion of cultivating the illicit crop, authorities said.
Detectives from the Monterey Park Police Department’s Crime Impact Team arrested Sunny Hoa, 52, at his home in on Ralph Street near Rosemead Boulevard in Rosemead, Lt. Frank Duke said. They also recovered about 35 pounds of processed pot at the residence.
Also Thursday morning, police went to another home associated with Hoa on Driftood Place near the 210 Freeway in Rancho Cucamonga, where they dismantled an indoor grow operation and seized 121 pounds of marijuana, Duke said.
Several hundred mature plants were seized in Rancho Cucamonga, along with the equipment used to grow the plants,” Monterey Park police officials said in a written statement.
A home in El Monte believed tied to Hoa was also searched, though no pot was found there, he added.
Others who were detained during the raids were ultimately released without charges, Duke said.
Monterey Park police have been watching Hoa for nearly a year, officials said, when they identified him as a suspect in an indoor marijuana grow found in Monterey Park on Thanksgiving Day last year.
In that case, an electrical fire at a condominium in the 500 block of North Chandler Avenue led officials to discover a marijuana growing operation, police said at the time.
Hoa was soon identified as a suspect, Duke said, but not arrested as police continued their investigation into him for nearly a year.
According to county booking records, Hoa was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Monday in Alhambra Superior Court.

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350+ pot plants uprooted in #LaPuente

LPPOTLA PUENTE – Deputies found more than 350 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of over $800,000 growing in a La Puente house on Wednesday.

In addition to the plants, they also seized high intensity lights, fans, blowers and ducting components.

Sheriff’s Lt. Pete Cacheiro said the La Puente Special Assignment Team started an investigation about three weeks ago after receiving several tips about suspicious activity at a rental house in the 500 block of Chatterton Avenue.

LPPOT2Deputies served a search warrant at the single-story home at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday and discovered marijuana plants in various stages of growth, Cacheiro said…

Full story by Ruby Gonzales

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department


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Suspect arrested in connection with Arcadia marijuana grow

ARCADIA — A man was arrested Friday — the day after discovery of 300 pot plants growing in his Arcadia home — when he arrived at the Pasadena Humane Society to try and pick up his dogs, which were seized during the bust, authorities said.
Kenny Lee, 31, was booked on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and theft of electricity in connection with the indoor marijuana grow, which was discovered shortly after 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the 200 block of East Longden Avenue, Arcadia police Lt. Mike Castro.
Police found the marijuana plants after animal control officials responded to Lee’s home after his dogs escaped from his yard, Lt. Roy Nakamura said. The animal control officers discovered the front door of the home was open and no one was home, prompting them to call police to check it out.
Officers entered the home to make sure everything was alright and stumbled upon an indoor marijuana grow comprised of 300 plants in various stages of growth, Castro said. The home’s electrical system had also been wired to bypass the electrical meter, allowing Lee to allegedly steal electricity to power the powerful lights required for the grow operation from the Southern California Edison grid.
Lee was not found until Friday afternoon, when he arrived at the Pasadena Humane Society seeking his dogs. Animal control officials notified police, who went to the facility and arrested Lee.
He was released from jail pending his initial court appearance early Saturday after posting $30,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County booking records.

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300 marijuana plants seized, three suspects arrested in Irwindale

IRWINDALE — Police discovered over 300 marijuana plants with an estimated value of $375,000 growing in a warehouse and arrested three men, officials announced Wednesday.
Investigators also seized a large amount of marijuana, cash, cultivation equipment and a firearm, according to acting Irwindale Police Chief
George Zendejas.
The incident began at 3:48 p.m. Tuesday when a patrol officer checked an unoccupied vehicle in a parking lot at 851 Meridian Street, discovered the registration expired more than six months ago and impounded it.
“While completing the storage, he discovered a large amount of marijuana inside the vehicle and evidence of a marijuana growing operation,” Zendejas said.
He said detectives served a search warrant at the warehouse on Meridian Street and found a marijuana growing operation. Three men inside the warehouse were arrested.
Kenneth Charles Severs, 31, of Rancho Cucamonga was arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sales while Jarred Edward Knuth, 32, of La Habra and Ryan Eugene Knuth, 35, of Brea, were arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana.
Booking records the three men were booked at Glendora Police jail and released Wednesday morning. It wasn’t clear if they are out on bail.

– Ruby Gonzales

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OJ, Octomom, Porn Valley and Clark Rockefeller

Frank Girardot speaks to Allison Hope Weiner on Lip TV's Crime Time

Frank Girardot speaks to Allison Hope Weiner on Lip TV’s Crime Time

Allison Hope Weiner, of Crime Time and Media Mayhem on Lip TV interviews reporter and editor Frank Girardot about Octomom, James Deen, porn, pot, OJ Simpson and Clark Rockefeller.

Take a peek: Crime Time

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West Covina man accused of growing pot inside Glendora business suites

A West Covina man is accused of cultivation of marijuana after authorities discovered about 400 plants growing inside two business suites which investigators said were a front for the pot-growing operation.
Jose Angel Marquez, 29, was booked on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana following his arrest, which took place just after midnight, according to Glendora police and Los Angeles County booking records.
Officers carrying out a narcotics investigation spotted Marquez driving away from the nondescript business suites late Wednesday and pulled him over, Glendora police Lt. Brian Summers said.
Officers found a small amount of marijuana in his possession, but returned to the adjacent businesses a short time later with a search warrant, the lieutenant said.
“Over 400 marijuana plants in various stages of maturity were recovered, along with other materials used to cultivate the plants,” Police said in the written statement.
Had the plants all been allowed to mature, the value of the marijuana could be as high as $350,000, Summer said.
“The investigation revealed Marquez was using the business suites as a front for marijuana cultivation,” according to the police statement.
Officials were also summoned to the scene to look into potential code violations or hazards at the businesses, police added.
According to county booking records, Marquez was released from jail Thursday morning pending his initial court appearance after posting $100,000 bail.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department

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San Gabriel Valley residents accused of three-county pot growing operation

Authorities on Wednesday arrested ten people – nine from the San Gabriel Valley – for allegedly operating marijuana grow houses in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
More than $250,000, over 8,000 marijuana plants and seven weapons including an assault rifle were also seized after state and federal agencies served search warrants at 26 locations.
The suspects allegedly belong to a drug trafficking group reportedly led by an Arcadia man.
The organization bought or leased single-family homes which were converted to raise marijuana indoors, according to federal court documents. Each house contained, on average, 1,000 to 2,000 marijuana plants. The marijuana was sold in California and across the country.
Eleven people were charged with conspiracy to manufacture, to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. One suspect is a fugitive.
Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S Attorney’s Office, said search warrants were served in Eastvale, Corona, Fontana, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Chino, Diamond Bar, El Monte, Arcadia, Los Angeles, Monterey Park, Walnut and Temple City. He said 15 of those locations were marijuana grow houses.
The 10 arrested were:
– Raymond A. Lam, who also used the name “Nam A. Lam,” 42, of Arcadia. He is the alleged leader of the organization and supposedly oversaw buying the houses that were converted into industrial-type marijuana grow houses
– Simon Lam, 32, of Arcadia, a top lieutenant
– Ken Ho, also known as “Ken Lam,” 33, of Arcadia, a top lieutenant
– San S. Voong, also known as “Chen Sheng Wang,” 35, of Arcadia, another top lieutenant
– Phieu Tran, 35, of El Monte
– Augustine Bazan Camacho, 41, of Pomona, allegedly a veteran plant tender responsible for maintaining many of the grow houses
– Thanh Van Phu, 33, of El Monte
– Luc Kai Phoung, who is also known as “Wong Fong,” “Al Fong “ and “Na Na,” 50, of Rosemead, who allegedly built the electrical and utility meter by-pass systems used at the grow houses
– Steven Huytu Lam, 52, of Walnut
– Li Ya Si, 42, of Temple City.
Investigators are still looking for one suspect, 39-year-old Andy Tran of Monterey Park who is allegedly also a top lieutenant in the group.
The investigation was done by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

– Ruby Gonzales

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UPDATED: New arrests, details announced in Pasadena shotgun slaying that stemmed from alleged marijuana robbery

PASADENA — Police announced new arrests and charges Wednesday in the fatal shotgun shooting of a 21-year-old Pasadena man during a marijuana robbery earlier this month.
A total of five people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 15 shooting death of Zane Goldstein, which occurred after the victim and his brother met the suspects for a small-scale marijuana deal, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
Police Wednesday revealed that the fatal shooting stemmed from a planned marijuana sale.
“The shooting of the victim was precipitated by Zane Goldstein and his (24-year-old) brother arranging to meet one of the suspects to sell a nominal amount of marijuana,” according to Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra.
“During the contact, the suspects attempted to rob the victims and a shooting ultimately occurred,” Ibarra said.
The exact amount of marijuana involved in the transaction was not available, however Ibarra described it as “less than an ounce.”
The Goldstein brothers had just driven away from an alleyway behind a Holliston Avenue apartment complex where they had met the suspects when they were followed by a car, police said.
The fatal shooting then took place around the corner at Chester Avenue and Maple Street.
Raymond Conchas, 23, of Covina, John Michael Piepoli, 19, and Ruby Conchas, 20, joined two other suspects already in custody earlier this week, according to police officials and custody records.
Peter Parra, 35, of Pasadena, and Kevin Jessie Cabrera, 25, of North Hollywood were arrested last week and charged Friday in connection with the shooting, officials said. Raymond Conchas was also charged with the killing, though he was not yet in custody at the time.
Raymond Conchas turned himself in to police Monday afternoon, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records. He had been sought, along with 20-year-old Stephanie Jacquez, since murder and other charges were filed against him Friday and his photograph released to the public.
Jacquez turned herself in alongside Raymond Conchas, police said. She was ultimately released without charges.
Ruby Conchas, who was previously arrested and released without charges pending further investigation, was re-arrested Tuesday and charged with being an accessory after the fact to the slaying, Ibarra said.
Investigators early Tuesday arrested a fifth suspect in the case, identified as 19-year-old John Piepoli II, according to police and booking records.
Following Tuesday’s arrests, no additional suspects were being sought.
“We have everybody in custody,” Ibarra said.
A felony complaint filed against the five defendants outlines a conspiracy that began the day before Zane Goldstein was shot to death.
Raymond Conchas told Piepoli and another man who is not charged in the case Jan. 14 that he wanted to rob Goldstein, according to the complaint. He then ordered the two men to arrange a marijuana deal with Goldstein.
The uncharged man gave Goldstein Raymond Conchas’ cell phone number on Jan. 15, and Conchas contacted Goldstein via text message to arrange a meeting place for the deal, according to court documents.
Cabrera is accused of meeting the Goldstein brothers and luring them into a rear alleyway off Holliston Avenue.
Parra pointed a loaded shotgun at Zane Goldstein, according to the felony complaint.
Parra and Conchas then pursued the Goldstein brothers a short distance to the area of Maple Avenue and Chester Street, officials allege.
According to the complaint, “Parra shot the victim once in the head.”
Ruby Conchas pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge of being an accessory after the fact, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Jane Robison said. She was due back in court Feb. 7.
In court documents, prosecutors allege she knowingly harbored, concealed and aided Raymond Conchas to help him avoid justice in the killing.
Parra, Cabrera, Raymond Conchas and John Piepoli all face charges of murder, with the special allegation of murder during the commission of a robbery, robbery, conspiracy, according to police and district attorney’s officials.
Parra, Cabrera and Raymond Conchas are also accused of gun enhancements, and the special allegation that the crime was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
The special allegations make the four male suspects eligible for the death penalty, however prosecutors will not make a determination on whether to seek the death penalty until later in the legal process.
Parra, Cabrera and Conchas were scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 7 in Pasadena Superior Court, Robison said.
Piepoli was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday afternoon, however officials expected is arraignment to be continued to Feb. 7 to coincide with the other defendants.
A decision was pending Wednesday on whether charges would be filed against a 17-year-old Pasadena boy arrested the day after the shooting.

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Loud music complaint leads to indoor marijuana grow in Arcadia














ARCADIA — A complaint about loud music early Sunday led police to discover a “sophisticated” marijuana growing operation in an abandoned Arcadia home, authorities said.
Chuan Wu Pang, 30, of Alhambra was arrested in connection with the bust, which took place shortly after 2:30 a.m. in the 2500 block of South Santa Anita Avenue, Arcadia police Sgt. Tom Le Veque said in a written statement.
“Arcadia detectives searched the home and found the majority of the residence being used as a sophisticated, indoor marijuana grow operation,” Le Veque said. “In excess of 500 marijuana plants were found in various staged of growth.”
It appeared the home’s electrical meter had been bypassed as well, allowing Pang to steal electricity from Southern California Edison’s grid, officials said.
“Every room, closet, hallway and usable space inside this approximately 2,500-square-foot, four-bedroom home was being used to facilitate the operation,” Le Veque said.
Police were first summoned to the home after someone called to report loud music, Le Veque said. Officers encountered Pang in front of the home, and he told officers he would lower the music.
“About an hour later, after learning the residence in question was reported to be abandoned, officers went back to the location and again contacted the lone male, still to the front of the home.”
When questioned, Pang told officers the house belonged to a friend, who gave him permission to be there, but he couldn’t recall the friend’s name, according to police.
The man then showed officers a key, which he demonstrated could be used to open the door.
“When the door was opened, officers saw items consistent with an indoor marijuana grow and smelled the overpowering odor of marijuana,” Le Veque added.
The home was secured, and detectives returned with a search warrant.
There was no evidence the marijuana was being grown in compliance with California medical marijuana laws, police added.
According to county booking records, Pang was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail at the Arcadia Police Department’s jail pending a scheduled arraignment Wednesday in Pasadena Superior Court.

PHOTO courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department

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UPDATED: Three badly burned in fire and explosion blamed on hash oil extraction

MONROVIA — Three men suffered major injuries early Sunday in a fire initially blamed on a small but powerful butane explosion stemming from the processing of marijuana into concentrated hash oil, authorities said.
The fire was first reported about 5 a.m. at a home in the 200 block of East Walnut Avenue, just west of Canyon Boulevard, Monrovia police Sgt. Don Newton said.
“A call came out of a structure fire with subjects trapped inside the house,” Newton said. Callers reported that one of the people inside the home was on fire.
Witnesses also reported hearing what they described as at least one explosion coming from the burning home, police said.
“The explosion was enough to actually move the ceiling and lift the ceiling itself, and move many of the contents of the room around,” Monrovia Fire Department Chief Christopher Donovan said.
Officers and firefighters arrived to find three badly injured burn victims, initially described as men in their 20s, the sergeant said. Two of them had escaped the home themselves prior to the arrival of police or fire, while the third got out just after officials arrived at the scene.
All three men were taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, where they were listed in critical condition, Donovan said.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation, the chief said, however it was initially believed to have been caused by the explosion of one of several spraypaint-sized cans of butane the men were using in a process to extract a concentrated form of hash known as “honey oil” from marijuana.
All three burn victims were in a back bedroom of the home, where the butane was, when it ignited, Donovan added.
Two of the injured men were believed to be residents of the home, Newton said, while the third was believed to be a visitor.
A man and woman who rent space in the home but were unrelated to the burn victims escaped the home without injury, Donovan said. They were inside a room toward the front of the home when the explosion occurred in the rear.
The amount of marijuana found at the home was not available.
Nearby homes were evacuated for several hours following the fire, however residents were allowed to return about 8 a.m., he added.
Officials from nearby police agencies joined Monrovia police and fire officials in the investigation.

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