El Paso County deputies bust record number of illegal marijuana grows in April

Crime

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is seeing a record-breaking month of illegal marijuana grow busts. In fact, the month of April has seen more busts than the rest of 2018 as a whole.

This number includes a bust in the Peyton area Friday, where deputies arrested two people and seized almost half a million dollars in weed. 

First came a tip, then the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office checked the house’s electricity bill, which told them there was a large illegal grow.

“We can typically tell by the amount of power that’s being utilized how big the grow is, and we estimated this to be in the 200-plant or above range based on the amount of electricity,” Sheriff Bill Elder said.

The sheriff’s office seized 13 pounds of processed marijuana and more than 500 marijuana plants in various stages of growth.

Two suspects, 35-year-old Antonio Moreno and 42-year-old Armando Vega, were arrested and charged with offenses relating to marijuana. 

The street value of the marijuana comes to more than $425,000.

“The number of plants we’ve seized in April is more than we seized in the first quarter,” Elder said. “The number of arrests in April is higher than the first quarter.”

According to the sheriff’s office, from April 1 to April 27, El Paso County has served 10 search warrants and seized 1,000 plants and 300 pounds of processed marijuana. 

Elder said they aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

“Like I promised, we are going to be very active taking down these marijuana grows,” Elder said. “It’s not like they didn’t know we were coming.”  

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