Traffic stop leads to huge marijuana bust in Littlerock
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A routine traffic stop in Littlerock led authorities to an elaborate marijuana grow operation and $300,000 worth of illegal weed, authorities said Thursday.
The bust was triggered Wednesday after a Palmdale sheriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation near 87th Street East and Avenue T-14 in the Littlerock area of the Antelope Valley, authorities said.
According to information released by sheriff’s officials in Palmdale, the deputy spotted several marijuana plants on the back seat of the car that was being driven by Tony Baker, 41, of Granada Hills.
An investigation led sheriff’s narcotics detectives and deputies to a two-acre lot near the 36000 block of 92nd Street East, where they found a complex marijuana cultivation operation in a detached 3,500-square-foot garage, authorities said. Deputies found 300 immature plants in the converted garage, which was equipped with a watering system and artificial lighting. According to authorities, the marijuana had just been harvested and detectives seized around 300 pounds of the weed with an estimated street value of $300,000. A large amount of sealed cash was also confiscated at the scene, authorities said.
A second suspect, Littlerock resident Travis Churchill, 41, was inside of the home when deputies served the search warrant, authorities said. He was later booked at the Palmdale sheriff’s station on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and theft of public utilities, authorities said. His bail was set at $50,000.
Baker, the driver of the car, was booked on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and his bail was also set at $50,000.
Both suspects are scheduled to be arraigned Friday at the Antelope Valley courthouse.
-- Ann M. Simmons in Santa Clarita