Crime

500 marijuana plants seized from unit in SLO business park

About 5,000 marijuana plants growing in a building in an industrial area near Fiero Lane were confiscated Thursday.
About 5,000 marijuana plants growing in a building in an industrial area near Fiero Lane were confiscated Thursday. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated how many marijuana plants were confiscated. It was 500 plants, not 5,000.

A marijuana-growing operation concealed within a unit at an industrial complex near the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport was the target of a law-enforcement raid Thursday morning.

Narcotics investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department, with assistance from local authorities, confiscated about 500 marijuana plants — weighing about 50 pounds — from the 700 block of Fiero Lane.

Around noon, authorities were removing bushels of the plant from the building and piling them in the back of an open trailer while employees from neighboring offices gathered to watch.

Police said they were led to the unit after arresting two men with ties to San Luis Obispo County on Aug. 20 in Los Angeles, authorities on scene said.

Those men are Justin Slade and Seth McCormick. The investigating officer on scene declined to give their hometowns and ages but said the pair will be arraigned in Los Angeles.

The men were reportedly connected to an operation where marijuana plants were grown in San Luis Obispo and then moved to Southern California to process and sell.

The drugs carry a street value of about $4,000 a pound once processed, police said. About one-third of the stash discovered Thursday would have been able to be processed. Investigators said the grow operation was “sophisticated” and part of an ongoing investigation.

Neighbors in the business park said men who used the unit with the single white roll-up door and no exterior signage had been there for about a year. One neighbor, who declined to be named, said the men had once told him that they worked in the import and export business.

Nearby workers told The Tribune that the unit’s workers accessed the unit during off hours, mostly at night.



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