Sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team & deputies discover an illegal indoor marijuana grow and theft of utilities
DATE/TIME: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 / 4:00PM
INCIDENT: Search Warrant – Indoor Marijuana Grow / Utility Theft
LOCATION: 16360 Starstone Road, Chino Hills
SUSPECT: Li Liu, age 37, transient
The Sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) and deputies assigned to the Chino Hills Police Department served a search warrant at a residence in Chino Hills for the illegal cultivation of marijuana.
Deputies from the Chino Hills Police Department received a tip from a concerned citizen regarding suspicious activity at the residence. Investigators began their investigation and found evidence of an illegal indoor marijuana grow occurring. MET was called to assist with the investigation and served a search warrant. During the investigation, over 700 hundred marijuana plants were found growing. Evidence of utility theft was also found. The main power lines provided by Southern California Edison (SCE) were tampered with allowing for the theft of electricity. Personnel from SCE responded to the scene to assist with the investigation and to disconnect the electrical service at the location for public safety. Often, the suspects involved in the illicit growing of marijuana will bypass the utility company’s meter to steal electricity service and to prevent detection by law enforcement or the utility. This dangerous process is illegal and will usually result in a fire at the incident location because of the unpermitted methods used.
Investigators contacted the suspect – Li Liu at the residence. He was arrested without incident. The loss to SCE is believed to be in the thousands of dollars. Additional charges such as vandalism to property may be added later.
Several investigations have revealed that rental properties are being used by tenants to illegally grow marijuana. The tenants and the owners of the rental property should check with their local city code enforcement division or law enforcement agency to verify that marijuana cultivation is allowed. Generally, large scale marijuana growing operations are not allowed in residential areas. The City of Chino Hills prohibits this type of activity. A link to the Chino Hills Municipal Code regarding marijuana activity is below.
The Sheriff’s Department encourages the owners of rental properties and property management companies to conduct periodic inspections of the rental property to ensure the tenants are complying with the terms of the rental/lease agreement and to prevent any illegal activity from taking place.
The investigation/reports will be sent to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office for review of criminal charges against the suspect. He will face charges of Utility Theft, Vandalism and Cultivation of Marijuana.
Click here for Chino Hills Marijuana Ordinance: https://library.municode.com/ca/chino_hills/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TIT5BULIRE_CH5.28MA_5.28.020COMAACRO