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Report of burglary in progress leads to pot discovery

Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department first arrived at the site of the alleged attempted break-in. The deputies called the El Monte Police Department. The five people were arrested around 11:30 a.m. Saturday on suspicion of commercial burglary.

Police say one the people taken into custody said there was a marijuana cultivation operation inside the warehouse. Police believe the group of five people knew of the operation and were specifically targeting the marijuana.

El Monte Police reportedly obtained a search warrant for the building. Law enforcement says they discovered roughly 3,000 pot plants growing inside the warehouse. The street value of the marijuana reportedly is about $1 million.

Police say seven large rooms inside the warehouse were involved in the alleged pot growing operation. The sophisticated system includes ventilation, filtration and hydroponic equipment. Investigators reportedly are trying to determine who is linked to the pot growing operation. No arrests have been made related to the alleged marijuana cultivation operation.

The windows of the building were covered over with drywall from the inside.

Neighbors were surprised when they learned of the allegations. People in the neighborhood reportedly say the building seemed like a normal business. Neighbors say they did not notice anything suspicious about the warehouse.

Source: Pasadena Star News, "El Monte police find city's biggest-ever pot farm," Brian Day 4 Jun 2011

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