Neighbors of a well-kept duplex in leafy San Ramon had no idea the residence had been converted for use as an indoor pot farm until a police battering ram hit the front door. Officers uncovered an estimated $1 million worth of pot plants and arrested two suspected “tenders” on Monday as shocked neighbors looked on.
Officers discovered that the grow operators had re-wired the Shadowhill Circle residence to keep their electricity bills from being monitored, installed a sophisticated ventilation system to carry the smell of 600 plants away from the home, and placed dark plastic over all of the windows. Police said they couldn’t move in the home without brushing up against a bush.
Two men who pulled up in a van and tried to enter the duplex as officers watched were taken into custody. Guo Yong Deng, 35 and Bofeng Huang, 25, both of San Leandro, were arrested for marijuana cultivation, conspiracy and stealing electricity, police said.
Neighbors said all the things neighbors say when surprised to find a sophisticated criminal enterprise in their midst.
“They did a good job. I never smelled anything,” neighbor Georgina Shallcross, who moved into the home next door in July, told KTVU News. “I just can’t believe it. I guess they did it in this area because you wouldn’t suspect it. It’s a lovely, family neighborhood.”
Investigators are attempting to trace the property owner. Police said Deng and Huang have no prior criminal record. Huang was booked at the Martinez Detention Facility with a $170,000 bail. Deng was released pending further investigation.