Grass Valley homes busted in pot raids | SierraSun.com

Grass Valley homes busted in pot raids

Liz Kellar
Sun News Service

NEVADA COUNTY “-One woman was in custody and more than 200 marijuana plants were eradicated after Nevada County Narcotics Task Force members swept across the county, finding alleged evidence of indoor pot-growing operations in five homes.

“We found documentation tying all the locations together,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Bill Smethers.

In addition, investigators in Santa Cruz and San Francisco counties have found operations there with the same physical set-up, and they are involved in the ongoing local investigation, Smethers added.

“All of the grows (in Nevada County) were set up identically,” Smethers said. “We’ve seen this in the past, where there is a network of individuals in houses throughout the county.”

Based on information from the Santa Cruz Police Department, the task force executed a search warrant Tuesday on a home in the 11000 block of Hilltop Drive in Grass Valley.

“We found evidence of an indoor and outdoor grow with no marijuana plants, that had recently been planted with vegetables,” Smethers said.

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The vegetable plants had been purchased just a few days prior to the search, although the grow operation clearly had been in place long before then, Smethers said.

“The operation had been set up for an indoor grow with charcoal filters hooked up to exhaust fans, so you can’t smell anything from outside,” he said.

Based on information gathered at the house, a search warrant then was served on a house in the 17000 block of White Cross Court. There, deputies found 66 female marijuana plants in what Smethers described as “a sophisticated indoor growing operation.”

That search led task force members to a house on the 12000 block of Witts End on the San Juan Ridge, where consent was given to a search.

“We found another sophisticated indoor grow, and 20 plants were eradicated,” Smethers said.

A search warrant also was served on a house in the 11000 block of Tower Hill Road in Nevada City, where 66 plants were discovered in an indoor grow. Another house was searched on the 12000 block of Wild Rose Court near the corner of Indian Springs and McCourtney roads south of Grass Valley, where 61 plants in an indoor grow were seized.

At the Wild Rose Court home, Rusty Michelle Meyer, 25, was arrested after she allegedly tried to get rid of hashish and told deputies she didn’t live there. She was charged with destroying evidence, resisting a peace officer and cultivating marijuana, and she remains in custody in county jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

The narcotics task force is seeing more indoor grows locally, turning marijuana cultivation into a year-round operation, Smethers said.

“They’re trying to be more covert,” he said.