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Monday, April 11, 2011

Busted: San Francisco's Biggest Marijuana Grow to Date

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Moonlighting for techies
  • Moonlighting for techies

Aside from a January raid of a licensed growhouse -- and a very angry law professor's threats to sue the SFPD -- it's been a quiet year for marijuana busts in San Francisco.

Until now.

Police said today they arrested three people and seized 1,400 marijuana plants on April 6 in the city's biggest pot bust to date this year.

And you will never guess where this pot bust occurred. The grow was not at a residential house in the Richmond or Sunset Districts, nor was it at a warehouse in the Bayview. This massive heap of marijuana was found in SOMA, inside a five-story building on Third Street within home-run distance of the Giants' ballpark.

Firefighters found the indoor grow while putting out a blaze at the building on the 600 block of Third Street. At about 2:50 p.m. on Wednesday, the cops were alerted to the pot plants on the building's third, fourth, and fifth floors.

Cops were busy uncovering 1,000 plants and two pounds of dried pot on the third floor, as well as an unused lights-water-fan operation on the fourth floor, and another 400 plants on the fifth floor -- when three men tried to get into the building, according to police.

Two San Francisco men, both 30, and an Oakland man, 29, had keys to the building as well as to the third-floor grow. All were subsequently arrested and booked on felony marijuana cultivation charges. Their names have not yet been released, pending further investigation.

We aren't sure exactly where the bust happened, but there are only a handful of five-story buildings on the 600 block of Third Street between Brannan and Townsend -- and none of them have Department of Building Inspection "red flags," which is a typical operating procedure after a grow is busted, according to DBI's database.

Though to hear of a large-scale pot grow in a part of town populated by wealthy techies is an intriguing aberration indeed.

SF Weekly put in a call to the fire department and the SFPD to get more details about this awesome bust. We will update you when we hear back.

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.


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