Police find 200 lbs. of pot while responding to fight call

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Police are questioning several people in connection with an apparent home invasion that led to the discovery of hundreds of pounds of pot in a Phoenix home early Wednesday morning.

Police responded to a condo complex in the area of 20th Street and Beardsley Road, just south of the Loop 101 Pima Freeway, at about 3:15 a.m. The initial call was regarding a fight.

"The neighbors heard a lot of arguing and banging," Phoenix Police Sgt. Marc Delhotal said. "Upon the officers' arrival, they observed a rear door to have been kicked in."

"When officers arrived, they went inside this particular condo and located five Hispanic males. They appear to have been bound overnight," Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos explained. "One of them was injured. While officers were in this particular condo, they also located a large quantity of marijuana."

Police said between six and 10 Hispanic men, all dressed in dark clothing and some wearing bandannas over their faces, broke into the home and started removing several bales of marijuana, loading them into three vans they had brought to the scene. They then fled, leaving the five men behind.

"Right now we don't have an idea of how much [marijuana] was removed from the residence," Delhotal said.

Investigators, however, do know how much was left in the garage.

Police say there were 13 bales of pot -- roughly 200 pounds. According to PriceOfWeed.com, the average price for marijuana in Arizona runs between $170 and $310 per ounce depending on the quality. That puts the street value of the pot in that North Phoenix garage at between $544,000 and nearly $1 million.

Police detained the five Hispanic men who were in the house for questioning. Investigators say the men had only been here for a few days. 

"We believe that they are here illegally," Martos said. "The suspects who fled the scene, we believe that they are also Hispanic males. Obviously we have no identification on who they are or their whereabouts at this time."

Martos said this was not a random crime. The suspects knew exactly what they were after.

"We believe that these suspects who came to this location knew what was here and came with the intent to basically take the marijuana from these other suspects, or individuals inside the home," he said. "This home was targeted because of the marijuana that was inside."

Martos said at least one of the suspects who fled was wearing a police raid shirt, apparently attempting to impersonate an officer.

Investigators are trying to determine who is renting the home.

At this point, police have not made any arrests, but Martos said the five who were detained will likely face drug charges. He also said it's not clear if those five men were acquainted with the suspects who got away.