Marijuana-growing operation busted in Palmdale


An L.A. County Sheriff's deputy from the Palmdale station on routine patrol at 3:40 p.m. Monday checked the license plate registration of a vehicle parked on the 200 block of East Avenue P-2. The registration identified a felony warrant for narcotics possession for the owner.

Additional deputies and a sergeant were summoned. At the front door, deputies smelled a strong odor of fresh marijuana. With the sergeant, they entered the house to search for the suspect and secure the location, according to the department.

Every room in the house and the garage had been converted into a hydroponic growing operation with about 630 marijuana plants.

Two suspects were found in a back room tending to plants. Due to ventilation equipment noise, they hadn't heard deputies entering the location.

A search warrant was obtained and plants and equipment were confiscated. The plants have a potential production value of over one million dollars, according to the department.

Edgar Damian, 24, and Luis Ascencion, 30, were arrested.

One suspect told deputies the growing operation was started about three months ago, and the plants were just beginning to harvest. None had been sold.

In addition to charges of cultivation of marijuana, the suspects were charged with theft of electricity, as they had redirected incoming power to bypass the electric company meter.

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