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Deputies seize record-breaking illegal marijuana grow

On Monday the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s office seized the largest marijuana grow to date in Santa Barbara County.

The Sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau served a search warrant on the 2700 block of Telephone Road in Santa Maria.

Over 400,000 illegal marijuana plants were seized. The grow was concealed among existing farms. The Sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau received a tip that led to the bust.

Detectives say during the investigation they discovered the suspects provided false information to obtain a temporary state cannabis license and did not follow the right protocol. Santa Barbara County’s Lieutenant, Brian Olmstead, said the subjects applied for a license but planted the marijuana before the application process went through.

The plants ranged in various growth cycles and maturity. The suspects involved can expect to face charges of illegal marijuana cultivation and perjury.

According to Lieutenant Olmstead the penalty will most likely be fines and the grower’s ability to get a legal license may be revoked forever. He noted that a grow operation of that size may have cost a million dollars or more to produce.

Olmstead said there is a proper way of getting a license and because they did not do that in addition to criminal charges they are losing on their sizable investment.

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