Man finds $175,000 in pot in backyard, then things get weird


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A Silver Lake man’s attempt to install solar panels at his home was interrupted when he found $175,000 worth of marijuana -- bottled, bundled and vacuum-sealed -- stowed in a vault under a backyard hot tub.

When Mack Reed opened up the underground access vault for a technician to inspect, he spotted an army-green bag that turned out to be stuffed with weed and hash. Inside the bag, he found about 60 jars, bags and vacuum-sealed packages labeled with names like White Russian, Super Lemon Haze and Bubble Mix.


For a second, Reed fantasized about the money that could be had, and how it might make up for what he invested in his mobile photo game startup. But his thoughts quickly turned to fear: “Oh. My. God. Someone’s coming back for this.”

The former Los Angeles Times reporter blogged the entire ordeal.

I’m trying to deliver a massive month-long project with my dev team at work. On deadline. Today.

And some evil bastard has stuffed a bag of dope into a hole behind my house and turned my life into the backdrop of a James Ellroy noir. Any minute now, some neckless mook with steroidal shoulders and a bullet-shattered voicebox will stalk up behind and beat me bloody with his pearl-handled Desert Eagle .45.

Not wanting to delve deeper into the bag, for fear of discovering something worse, Reed opted for the quick and legal way out. He called the LAPD.

“I’m sorry, sir, everyone in your district is out on an emergency. Could you drive it to the station yourself?”


I manage to avoid blowing up at her.

“Yeah, uhhh … I don’t think driving around with 20 pounds of drugs in my car is really a good idea.”

“Oh, sorry, sir, of course not. Well let me see if I can get someone at the desk. Please hang on.” Another small eternity drips past. “OK, we’ll be sending our supervisor out, no one else is available.” When Sgt. Adrienne Legaspi arrived, Reed wondered how a stoner’s dream made its way into his Silver Lake backyard.

“Do you ever post to Facebook when you go out of town?”

“I try not to, but I might have posted a photo from the Grand Canyon over Thanksgiving.”

“Uh-huh. There you go.”

Memo to self. Don’t do that again. Chowderhead.

Legaspi suggested removing the hatches completely so the bag’s owner would quickly know it was found. Reed opted against it, fearing a gardener or one of his kids would fall into the vault. Crime-scene tape seemed excessive and a mean message could make matters worse.

Reed got a better idea. Several keystrokes and mouse swivels later on Photoshop he printed out an 8-by- 10 inch poster and tacked it onto the hatch. With the message: “We found it and called LAPD. They confiscated it and now are watching the place. Sorry.”

Neighborhood kid gets way in over his head?

Gardener’s brother parks it while waiting for a buyer?

Spooked grower en route to the dispensary without his permit papers panics and ditches his wares till everything blows over?

Humboldt County mule shovels out her car long enough to see her boyfriend down the street, before loading up and driving on to meet her connection?

The LAPD knows everything I know at this point. It’s anybody’s movie from here.


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-- Adolfo Flores