MCSO busts marijuana growing, selling operation in Tonopah

TONOPAH, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office says it has busted another illegal marijuana growing operation – this time in Tonopah.

The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Task Force served a search warrant Thursday and arrested two suspects accused of “illegally growing and selling marijuana in violation of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMA),” MCSO said.

While MCSO has not released any information about those suspects, it did release photos of what investigators seized, including about 244 pounds of marijuana, mostly live plants. MCSO also confiscated about 4 pounds of cannabis, five rifles, one handgun, and more than $20,000 in cash, as well as marijuana growing and manufacturing equipment.

[RELATED: Rare look inside illegal marijuana grows (Oct. 20, 2016)]

Some of that equipment led investigators to believe that the suspects were manufacturing cannabis on-site.

According to MCSO, the operation had eight rooms “designed for growing marijuana.” Investigators said six of them were in use when the search warrant was executed.

“In September 2019 alone, MCSO detectives seized several hundreds of pounds of illicit narcotics, multiple illegally owned firearms, stolen vehicles, currency and counterfeit cash from Maricopa County streets,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said in a news release about the Tonopah bust. “The amount of illicit drugs coming through Maricopa County continue to pose a threat to our community, in specifically, our youth….”

A month ago, MCSO arrested 14 people in an undercover marijuana delivery sting in Phoenix. The agency also busted a black-market drug operation at homes in Chandler and Gilbert and an illegal THC vape cartridge operation in north Phoenix

Tonopah is about an hour west of Phoenix along Interstate 10.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.




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