Phoenix Police Seize More Than 650 Marijuana Plants
While marijuana has been legalized for personal use for the past couple of weeks in Colorado, there have been several large pot busts in Arizona during that timeframe.
In addition to a couple of unlicensed dispensaries being raided in the West Valley last week, Phoenix police also seized about 650 pot plants this weekend.
Police say an officer on patrol was near a fallen officer's memorial that he visits every so often, when he smelled "what he believed to be a strong odor of marijuana."
The officer apparently sniffed out the source down the street, near 26th Avenue and McDowell Road, where he made contact with 58-year-old William Becker. Becker said he was renting out the location to someone.
However, police say officers had probable cause to search the building, and found about 300 marijuana plants. After this, police served a search warrant on a building less than two miles away, around 30th Avenue and Thomas Road, where Becker's listed as the owner.
Police found 350 plants there, and police value the haul at $1.3 million.
When asked if the operation might have been supplying a dispensary Phoenix Police Officer James Holmes told New Times the drug team's still looking into the situation.
Becker was booked into jail on charges of cultivating and possessing marijuana for sale.
As a point of reference, any cultivation site that's connected to a medical-marijuana dispensary has to be registered. Under certain circumstances, a person could keep as many as 72 marijuana plants if they're not connected to a dispensary.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.