Berkeley Cops Seize Over 5,000 Pot Plants


Mar. 17 - BCN - Berkeley police said today that they have seized more than 5,000 plants, $120,000 in cash and various weapons after shutting down what they describe as a sophisticated marijuana growing operation.
Police spokesman Ed Galvan said the operation also had ties to locations in Oakland, Brentwood and Castro Valley.
Galvan said the department's special enforcement unit went to 809 Allston Way in West Berkeley early Wednesday morning to execute a narcotics search warrant.
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He said that in the converted warehouse space, they discovered more than 2,500 marijuana plants in various stages of growth.
The space also included an extensive processing operation, where an estimated 100 pounds of harvested plants were being dried in preparation for packaging, Galvan said.
Five suspects were arrested when they attempted to flee out of the rear of the building as officers made their entry and one was caught inside, according to Galvan.
The investigation included six other locations in Brentwood, Oakland, and Castro Valley where detectives also served search warrants and arrested one other suspect.
Galvan said sophisticated growing operations similar to the Berkeley location were found at two locations in Oakland where officers seized another 2,500 plants in the early stages of growth, bundles of cash, and an assault rifle.
Locations in Brentwood and Castro Valley yielded bundles of cash and an assortment of weapons, he said.
Galvan said search warrants were served at a total of seven locations in four cities and officers seized a total of more than 5,000 live plants and 120 pounds of dried marijuana.
Also seized in the investigation were several handguns, rifles, and approximately $120,000 in cash.
Lead detective Brian Wilson said the arrests and the seizures were the culmination of a five-month-long investigation.
Wilson said further details will be released at a later time as the investigation continues.