Another local bust

Discussion in 'Smokers Lounge' started by splyph024, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. splyph024

    splyph024 Blazin daily

    saw this the other day. my friend lives in that part of town and said those guys were not fucking around with their op..... here's the story.
    By Kelly Thornton and Linda Lou

    April 5, 2007
    The recent discovery of the region's most sophisticated underground marijuana-growing operation yet – accessible by hidden elevator and a 65-foot-long concrete-encased tunnel – makes San Diego County growers trendsetters, officials said yesterday.
    DEA photo​
    The Santa Ysabel property where federal agents seized 454 marijuana plants last week from underground rooms outfitted with irrigation, lighting, electrical and ventilation systems. Three men have been arrested.
    Some growers are years ahead of counterparts in Los Angeles and other cities, where potent indoor varieties are grown in urban apartments and suburban homes.
    “San Diego County's on the cutting edge here because that's what they used to do,” said federal prosecutor Sherri Walker Hobson, who specializes in drug cases. “Seems like growers (here) are coming up with innovative ways to defeat law enforcement, and this is one of the ways.”
    Damien Andrews allegedly is one such pioneer. He was arrested last week after a tip led authorities to his remote Santa Ysabel log cabin, where agents seized 454 marijuana plants from underground rooms so complex in construction and detail that agents were impressed.

    Marijuana cultivators have had to be resourceful to stay ahead of law enforcement, officials said. Some county growers have graduated from small-scale, in-home operations to large, rural locations to avoid hazards of nosy neighbors, landlords and strong odors.
    Outside cities and suburbs, growers found they could go underground and rely on generators to avoid detection from skyrocketing utility bills. But generators are noisy, so some growers steal electricity through sophisticated systems that bypass electric meters.

    Hobson, the prosecutor, said tactics are always changing. “I'm sure they'll come up with other things, but they will be caught.” he said.
    And now there's the Andrews compound:
    Authorities said the 34-year-old Encinitas man purchased 39 acres in Santa Ysabel, near Julian, and built a two-story luxury log cabin and detached garage without permits. According to court records, he built an elevator, concealed in a walk-in closet in the garage, which descends about 10 feet below ground and connects to a tunnel that is 65 feet long and 4 feet wide.
    The tunnel leads to two rooms measuring 20-by-20 feet, with 8-and 12-foot ceilings. Both rooms were outfitted with irrigation, lighting, electrical and ventilation systems and steel I-beams to reinforce the roof.
    What distinguished the operation was the elaborate construction and the ways to hide the operation, DEA spokesman Dan Simmons said.
    The cabin was equipped with a sophisticated surveillance system, including mounted infrared cameras with night-vision capabilities. One camera was attached to the top of a pole at the gated entrance of the property. Court records detail that the closed-circuit monitors were inside the log cabin and the underground rooms.
    “It was the access that was startling, not necessarily the grow itself,” Simmons said. “I've seen meth houses and crack houses, and while closed circuit television was not unusual, this is the first time I've seen it with marijuana.”
    After receiving tips from confidential sources, agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Narcotics Task Force and the Internal Revenue Service served search warrants at the property March 28 and seized the plants, according to court records.
    Agents arrested Andrews and two alleged accomplices, Anthony Martin Hillerby, 40, of Encinitas and Sean Daniel Smith, 35, of Santa Ysabel. All have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana plants and manufacturing marijuana plants. Smith is scheduled to appear at a bail hearing today, the others on April 19.
    Authorities said marijuana grown indoors can sell for $4,000 to $5,000 a pound, versus $300 a pound for the outdoor variety. Depending on a grower's harvesting methods, 454 plants could produce tens of thousands of dollars in profits every few weeks.
    Yesterday, the drug bust was the talk of Santa Ysabel, an isolated community at the junction of highways 78 and 79 with rough terrain and road signs warning of cow crossings.
    Residents said they were gossiping and speculating about whether they had run into Andrews or knew the location of his log cabin, which they believed to be in a remote area. Peter Hoffman of Borrego, 45, was not alarmed or surprised to hear about a marijuana operation nearby. But the elevator and the tunnel?
    “I am just surprised that somebody can pull off that scale of operation for being this far out in the middle of nowhere,” Hoffman said.
    Another resident, Art Fann, 74, put it this way: “It's just part of the world we live in these days.”
  2. El Campesino

    El Campesino The Farmer


    I hate to see shit like this.
  3. AlienBait

    AlienBait Custom User Title

    I read this on another newspaper site, but they never said how they found the cabin or knew to look in the basement. Now I know...

    Be careful out there!
  4. splyph024

    splyph024 Blazin daily

    #1 Rule- TELL NO ONE....... or else shit like this may happen to you!
  5. snickelfritz

    snickelfritz Weed College Hall Monitor

    Damn!!! Impressive setup!!!

    All it took was 1 fucking snitch to bring it down! :fingermad:
  6. Edge

    Edge New Sprout

    How did he get busted?

    Do you think people were really curious as to why he was doing things or is it from telling people who ratted him out?

    Talk about Harry Potter's Chamber of Secrets....shit, if I had an operation like that, it would be my ABSOLUTE chamber of secrets! haha
  7. Diablo2

    Diablo2 Lord of Destruction


    That took some $$$ to set up!

    :fingermad: snitches!!! :fingermad:
  8. JohnH

    JohnH Smoker Extraordinaire

    Fuck yeah! I want to buy that property up when the Gov't auctions it off!
  9. mrdope

    mrdope The Cannabis Grower

    I didnt read the article but obviously there had to been more than 3 people in the op. I mean with all those plants, it had to take a lot of work. Thats a few people that already new. Thats the greater the risk of the op going down. Thats why sometimes its better to have a small grow.
  10. SmokeWizzleEveryDizzle

    SmokeWizzleEveryDizzle ~Movin on up'

    wow thats sad, but props to them for sophistication.. hidden elevator?! nice call! 10,000 watts (rough guess) off generators huh? these were some smart fellas til they got snitched on, ... just remember kids; snitches are bitches and belong in ditches.


  11. JohnH

    JohnH Smoker Extraordinaire

    Find yourself next to an underground stream/river ... turn electric turbines, draw water for irrigation ... wouldn't set off any alarms!

    Building it, that's what I find the hardest to believe. How to do you HIDE the building of that thing?
  12. SmokeWizzleEveryDizzle

    SmokeWizzleEveryDizzle ~Movin on up'

    I hear ya John, he must've had some great contractors, and an ultra discreet constuction company lol
  13. snickelfritz

    snickelfritz Weed College Hall Monitor

    Maybe thats who tipped off the cops...
  14. splyph024

    splyph024 Blazin daily

    AMEN brotha!
  15. TheApprentice

    TheApprentice Retired.

    An Amazing grow-op,mouth watering to me!

    I gotta say ,iv seen some peeps in my life with AMAZING grow-ops(full houses,etc) but i aint NEVER seen an underground chamber kitted out with CCTV and elevators,shit man the guy had all the brains to set that wonderful set up but he didnt have the sense to not tell anybody,mind you with a set up like that i guess id find it hard to keep quiet but we live and die(in jail)by our rules and the 1st rule IS thee most important.Shame,they'll make an example out him probably:ponder:

  16. UrBigBuddie

    UrBigBuddie MEDI-GROWER

    Hate it man, Hate that shit....

    Why dont they just leave us alone and let all the crack and smack dealers be the "ones" on their minds, and NOT us MJ growers, as MOST of us just do this shit, for ourselves anyway, some other methods and aim's, but MOST, just wanna good Potent smoke compared to the SHITTY stiuff you can get out there in the streets,lol, its just too bad the LAW isnt interested in LEGALISING as of yet, at all!!!!

    No where near it to be truthfull, but at least we are all trying to Lgalise the "drug" or Medicine, called Marijuana, as it can HELP and Kill many problems off and help with severe PAIN in te BODY and treats illnesses well too, in alot of cases, thats my point, WTF are they all abotu, when they fing evidence to Back-Up the foundation of MJ being a MEDICINAL drug, that actually HELP'S one's problems rather than disturb the problem.... as has been witnessed and proven too!!!

    Peace Ot,

    UBB...........:sign13: :) :punk:
  17. Ropeadopehead

    Ropeadopehead Begun Flowering

    It'll never long as these fuckin deep pocketed drug companies keep deep throating all these idiot lobbyists who keep pushing criminalization of weed, so they can suck the money out of all the ants....
  18. geheim

    geheim Excommunicated

    kkkkk Hate it man, Hate that shit....



    Originally Posted by El Campesino

    I hate to see shit like this.


    = so....>Ya + were= Its all GREEN around here...





    seems to be a lot of tarten flowing around, have the jocks invaded america?
  19. TheApprentice

    TheApprentice Retired.

    We've always been in USA.American freemasonry takes its roots from scotishMASONRY

    Us "jocks" or 'scotsmen' as we prefer:wink: were amongst the first colonies in america,canada and south america,some of the founding fathers had some scottish blood flowing through their veins so i guess you could say we have always been part of america,it was just cos at that period of time scotland and england were 'married' together as great britain along with wales so we were all tarred as british as opposed to say the 'Irish' who clearly opposed the union and clearly defined themselves as being different to brittsh,etc.

    But Geheim me and UBB are firmly on scotish soil as much as we love america.I spend my time between Glasgow and London,for the time being im stayin in Gods country cos i dont want my lil boy being born(in 7weeks:eek:) in England:5masked: ... as that would make my son "english" :disgust:

    ... and no self respecting scotish clansman(i've got my own clan,clan castle,clan motto and clan tartan and coat of arms,im from one of thee oldest clans in scotland:wink:) would ever,ever have or let his 1st born son to be allowed to be born in England!:angry7:

    Nuthin against our english 'cousins' but its just a scottish thing i guess.As for the tartan,mines is a good 'royal' blue for the glasgow rangers but UrBigBuddie's is from the disgusting:disgust: 'Celtic F.C' who 'us' rangers fans aint keen on round my way:wink:Peace G:pimp:
  20. geheim

    geheim Excommunicated

    well me mums from stirling, but i wear blackwatch.

    as for scotland colonizing any country, not offcially they didnt.

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