PERRIS (CBSLA) — When a family in Perris noticed flooding in the yard next door, they thought something had happened to their neighbors and they called the police.
But when deputies showed up they did not find people in distress, but rather a major illegal marijuana growing operation.
Behind the door with a cheery snowman decoration, deputies with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department found 2,000 pot plants in an operation that was being run right under their neighbors’ noses.
“I never smelled it,” Mike, a neighbor, said.
Mike is the one who called police after noticing water pouring out of the home’s garage and flooding his front yard.
“Honestly, we thought maybe the owners had passed or something, when they were showering,” he said.
It still is not clear who set up the grow house, but deputies quickly shut it down.
Another neighbor said she rarely saw anyone come to the home, but when she did, she said the people wore masks over their faces.
“I can’t believe it,” Gabriela Medina, another neighbor,” said. “It’s incredible.”
She said she has heard about grow houses popping up in nearby neighborhoods, but that she never thought it would happen in hers.
“Because nothing really happens here,” Edison, Medina’s son, said.
The RCSD said its marijuana eradication team has been cracking down on illegal grows at the sheriff’s direction. They said the altered wiring often found inside can be an extreme fire hazard to surrounding neighborhoods.
“It was a real concern for someone’s life,” Medina said. “And I’m glad to have it out of my neighborhood.”
RCSD said if anyone suspects an illegal grow operation in their neighborhood should call the department.