Lodi police discovered thousands of dollars in packaged marijuana and nearly 100 marijuana plants in two empty apartments Wednesday evening.
At approximately 6 p.m., police raided two apartments in the same complex on De Force Avenue after a patrol officer alerted the special investigations unit that he suspected the apartments were being used to grow marijuana, Sgt. Bill Alexander said.
According to Alexander, police found dozens of marijuana plants in various stages of growth throughout the two apartments.
The police also found roughly two pounds of packaged marijuana, which costs between $2,000 and $2,200, Detective Nick Rafiq said.
Alexander added that in addition to the illegal growth of marijuana in the two apartments, the growers also manipulated the electrical wiring that connected the two apartments to create more ideal growing conditions for the marijuana.
The manipulation of the electrical wiring allowed the growers to use electricity that they did not have to pay for, and because much of the wiring was exposed and twisted, it also caused a fire hazard, Alexander said.
Because the amount of marijuana that was discovered was so great and packaged marijuana is so expensive, Alexander said the police were concerned that such large amounts of the drugs could lead to further illegal and harmful activities, including violence, shootings and drug deals.
Two men who were arrested, Miguel Vargas, 40, and Daniel Baioccha, 31, were expected to be charged with electricity theft, and Alexander said he suspected subsequent arrests would occur.
Both apartments have been condemned until the investigation is completed.
Anyone with any information on the incident should please call Detective Nick Rafiq at 209-333-6747 or Detective Rick Garcia at 209-333-5546.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.