Authorities discover alleged pot grow house near Pearland

January 16, 2013 4:20:02 PM PST
Residents of one Pearland subdivision are still reeling after two of their neighbors were arrested for growing marijuana.

The grow house operation was discovered in the 3600 block of Hanover Circle, in the Northfork-Falcon Ridge area. The neighborhood is a master-planned community near Pearland.

The suspects began leasing the home only a month ago, but a mistake they made with the home's fireplace, sent police right to them.

Neighbors were stunned after they found out why a Pearland house was wrapped in crime scene tape and two suspects were handcuffed in the back seat of a cruiser.

"Not comfortable with that of course. That really concerns me," neighbor Steve Spedding said.

"That's scary, it's frightening," neighbor Neel Merritt said.

Detectives say the brick home in Pearland's Silver Lake subdivision was in the process of being set up as a marijuana grow house.

The alleged growers, though, tipped themselves off to police after burning plastic debris in the chimney on Wednesday morning. That prompted a call to the fire department from a neighbor.

"Fire department responded, they were allowed in the house to do a fire inspection. Upon entering the house, they found what they believe to be illegal narcotics, namely marijuana, in plain view," said Lt. Russ Baker with the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office.

The next door neighbors says one of the suspects introduced himself to her husband as he hung Christmas lights a month ago.

"They came over in December and one of them introduced himself to my husband and him they was moving in. The next time I saw them was Monday," Merritt said.

Detectives are still waiting on an official count, but they estimate there are 200-300 juvenile marijuana plants inside the home that were going to be grown for sale as hydroponic pot.

Growing lights were also in the process of being set up. And now residents in this upscale neighborhood say the suburbs are no longer a refuge from the drug trade.

"Well, I guess it can happen anywhere," Spedding said.

The two suspects were eventually booked into the Brazoria County Jail and are now facing charges, and investigators don't yet know if they are connected to any other possible grow houses in the greater Houston area.
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