A marijuana growing operation spanning three facilities that were not properly permitted was discovered in San Bernardino on Wednesday and the woman who owns the properties was taken into custody, police said. Two of the locations were large warehouse spaces while a third was a residence that had been converted into an indoor growing space, according to Lt. Mike Madden with the San Bernardino Police Department.
Police began investigating the properties in July after being tipped off to the unpermitted activity by a $67,000 utility bill at the E Street location. A team of SWAT agencies and police officers raided all three locations Wednesday morning and uncovered tens of thousands of plants, Madden said. He described the growing operations as very large and sophisticated.
Officials were in the process of removing the plants but said it would take multiple days. All three properties are owned by Stephanie Smith, who lives in Pacific Palisades, and paid for the buildings in cash, police said. A search warrant was served at her home and she was detained pending further investigation.