Anonymous Tip Leads to Large Pot Bust in Manteca, 3 Other Cities

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MANTECA --

An anonymous tip in the City of Manteca leads to the city’s largest pot grow ever discovered. The tip also led investigators to more than 1,500 marijuana plants not only in Manteca but in Elk Grove, Modesto and San Jose on Thursday morning. Neighbors we spoke with said some things about the homes where the drugs were discovered seemed odd.

They said they noticed the windows were never opened and rarely saw anyone at the house and if they did it was only during very late hours. Even though they’re not entirely shocked that there was a large amount of marijuana found at the homes, they were still surprised to see heavy police presence in their neighborhoods.

In cell phone video captured by a concerned neighbor, the SWAT team was in position at a home on Inderbitzen Way in Manteca, flash bangs are about to sound off and you can sense the amusement of a teen girl who said, ‘There’s the SWAT team! I don’t want to get shot! … Does this mean we’ll probably be late for school?,’ and the worry of her mother.

"It's like scary because you don't know what's going to happen especially because they throw something like a bomb at the back of the house,” said Maricruz, who asked we only use her first name.

She was shocked to find out that a suspected large marijuana ring was busted to close to her family and Joshua Cowell Elementary School, “We get scared because you know kids they live close. School is close too,” she said.

The Manteca Police Department said they found 915 marijuana plants inside the house on Inderbitzen Way. Along with the discovered drugs, five people were arrested for various charges including marijuana cultivation and operating a drug house.

Pot was also found in Modesto, in two homes in San Jose, and a home with a cracked window in Elk Grove.

"We do know we're just kinda, we're just kinda shocked. Shocked just not knowing what's going on inside some of these houses. You just never know,” Marco Hererra, an Elk Grove resident explained.

Many are still in disbelief such a crime could take place in their neighborhoods, "Shocked that that was across the street from where I live. I was like, I don't understand. I never even thought that would be there,” Jacob Jackson, a Manteca resident said.

Hoping it never happens again, "This is a safe neighborhood and we all watch for each other,” Adriana, Maricruz’s teen daughter said.

Along with the huge marijuana grow, the Manteca Police Department said the suspects stole thousands of dollars worth of electricity to operate their grow house.