GPD makes third marijuana bust this week

Alicia Chavez; arrested July 29

The Gilroy Police Department racked up its third indoor pot bust
this week
– one occurring in a house next to Gilroy High School.
As of Thursday, the trio of snuffed-out marijuana growing
operations has yielded four arrests and a total of $220,000 in
contraband vegetation.
The Gilroy Police Department racked up its third indoor pot bust this week – one occurring in a house next to Gilroy High School.

As of Thursday, the trio of snuffed-out marijuana growing operations has yielded four arrests and a total of $220,000 in contraband vegetation.

Church Street

According to reports, one raid occurred at 8:58 p.m. Wednesday when the Gilroy Fire Department received calls of a residential fire located on the 6500 block of Church Street.

During the investigation, GFD personnel located multiple marijuana plants valued at $120,000 inside the house where San Jose resident Hoang Khang, a 34-year-old Asian male, “intentionally lit a fire within the residence’s garage,” according to reports.

The residence’s electrical power was not tampered with and did not cause the fire, according to the GFD.

After obtaining consent from Hoang, officers from the Gilroy Police Department searched the residence and seized more than 120 “starter” marijuana plants and cultivation equipment, according to reports.

Hoang was arrested and later booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for cultivation of marijuana, sales of marijuana and possession of narcotic paraphernalia.

Johnson Way, near Gilroy High School

Following Wednesday’s incident, the GPD carried out a search warrant at 5 p.m. Thursday.

The investigation was executed by the Anti-Crime Team, which has been investigating the suspected illegal marijuana cultivation at a residence on the 600 block of Johnson Way directly adjacent to Gilroy High School.

All classes for GHS are scheduled to resume in the next couple of weeks.

Although no pot was located, reports state detectives discovered evidence suggesting the residence at Johnson Way was used to cultivate marijuana.

Police say the suspect – who is not named – likely processed the marijuana inside the residence prior to the search warrant being served.

With the assistance of PG&E, detectives confirmed someone had tampered with the residence’s electrical power to facilitate the illegal cultivation, according to reports.

Nobody was at the residence when the search warrant was served, police say.

As the investigation remains active, the GPD will not release the identity of the unnamed suspect at this time. Police do not believe these two incidents are related to eachother, according to the GPD press release.

This investigation is continuing and anyone who has information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Corporal Brian Dutton at (408) 846-0350. Parties wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at 1-800-782-7463 (1-800-78-Crime).

Laurel Drive

Prior to the above scenarios, GPD located firearms and more than 40 mature marijuana plants at 8:02 p.m., July 29 inside a residence located on the 7700 block of Laurel Drive in Gilroy.

Reports state the plants have an estimated street value of $100,000.

According to a GPD press release, the discovery was made after officials responded to a 911 call regarding an active electrical fire on the same block. With the assistance of PG&E, reports state officials confirmed someone had tampered with electrical power of neighboring homes.

After obtaining a search warrant from a Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge, reports state officers seized more than 40 marijuana plants, firearms, a quarter pound of processed marijuana and marijuana sales paraphernalia.

Three suspects have been named in the investigation, including Veronica Chavez, 39; Alicia Chavez, 60; and Manuel Fonseca; 26. All live in Gilroy.

The three were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for cultivation of marijuana, sales of marijuana and criminal conspiracy, according to reports.

The GPD press release states “this type of indoor marijuana operation appears to be an increasing trend within the county. Community members should be aware of activity within their neighborhoods, to prevent the fire dangers and potential health hazards associated with indoor marijuana cultivation operations.”

This investigation is continuing and anyone who has information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Corporal Brian Dutton at (408) 846-0350. Parties wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at 1-800-782-7463 (1-800-78-Crime).

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