Marijuana smell leads authorities to suspected pot growing operation in Montgomery County

March 5, 2013 4:57:59 PM PST
A tip has led to the arrest of a man accused of turning his Montgomery County home into his personal pot farm, deputies say.

The sheriff's department raided the house on Fish Creek Thoroughfare overnight Tuesday.

This operation was approaching a million dollars and this suspected pot grower did his best as to not tip off his energy provider to the large amount of electricity his needed to keep his indoor farm up and running.

Acting on a tip, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Unit responded to this home in the 100 block of Fish Creek Thoroughfare. Once they met the resident, 54-year-old Hien Van Tran, deputies also smelled a strong odor of marijuana.

A search of the home revealed about a 170 marijuana plants growing in just about every room. They have a total value of about $750,000.

"With marijuana plants in various rooms of the home with lights all set up," Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Lt. Dan Norris said.

Several of the grow lamps were also confiscated by deputies along with several other pieces of equipment, including different types of soils.

Agents also discovered that Tran bypassed the home's original electric meter to keep his larger-than-normal power usage off the grid.

A look at it during the day shows a separate electrical line was set up to solely feed the needs of the $750,000 grow operation.

"This was put in specifically to fuel the grow operation -- those lights and equipment," Norris said.

Tran is charged with possession of marijuana and faces additional charges. The confiscated marijuana will be weighed and then destroyed at a local facility in Montgomery County.
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