Riverside Police Department Press Release

For Immediate Release

Date Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Contact Steven Frasher, Press Information Officer
Phone (951) 826-5147

Major marijuana house dismantled

Riverside, Ca- A 24-year-old Riverside man is under arrest for maintaining a sophisticated marijuana growing operation in a large residence in the 18300-block of Van Buren Blvd., just outside the city limits near a feed store and within yards of a nearby Christian high school.

Riverside Police Narcotics Investigators, acting on a tip, arrived at the five-bedroom 2,783-square-foot one story home Monday, April 30, and discovered 675 marijuana plants under cultivation. The entire house had been expertly converted for the purpose of efficiently growing marijuana. Among the evidence confiscated were three dozen 1000-watt sunlamps, 30 power box converters, five air purifiers, a humidifier and a drip irrigation system. Police seized 240 pounds of marijuana, which could have topped 1,300 pounds of saleable marijuana if the plants had reached maturity. The operation was powered by electricity diverted from Southern California Edison in Riverside County and distributed throughout the house by an elaborate transformer system. The house was rented from Orange County owners.

The suspect, Justin WEATHERWAX, 24, told investigators he was responsible for the entire operation, but investigators say the level of sophistication, expert workmanship and costs of the confiscated equipment make that unlikely. Weatherwax was booked for cultivation of marijuana and theft of electrical power.

Anyone with information helpful to this investigation is urged to contact Riverside Police Narcotics Detective Matt Lackey at (951) 353-7220.

Major Marijuana House Dismantled

Full rooms used for marijuana cultivation   Sophisticated electrical and ventilation systems
Young seedlings   Every room dedicated to production
Some of the evidence seized by Riverside Police
Narcotics investigators
  Approximately 240 pounds of marijuana confiscated
as evidence.
Click on any image for High-Quality