Narcotics investigators find illegal drugs in Hidden Hills

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Narcotics investigators from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station recently arrested two men involved in a Hidden Hills indoor marijuana grow operation, according to a statement issued by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

A served search warrant resulted in the recovery of approximately 1,000 marijuana plants, 40 pounds of processed marijuana product, 47 ballasts, 37 high intensity lights, a .40 caliber Beretta semi-automatic handgun and other evidence. The estimated street value of the recovered marijuana was between $900,000 and $1,000,000, as reported by the Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities arrested two suspects, 54-year-old Robert Larue of Lawndale and 50-year-old Mauricio Lara of Los Angeles at the location. They were booked at Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station for Transport/Sell/Furnish Marijuana, Cultivation of Marijuana, and Theft of Utilities. Each suspect had their bail set at $100,000.

Larue has posted bail; however, Lara remains in custody with an additional hold by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, as stated by the Sheriff’s Department.

In addition to the drugs, authorities found an illegal installation of an electrical bypass at the location. Southern California Edison investigators were informed and have begun investigating what appeared to be an on-going theft of electricity in order to power the illegal operation.

Sheriff’s detectives are encouraging anyone with information that would help them identify other possible victims, witnesses and/or suspects to contact Detective Christopher Seitz at (818) 878-3032. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call LA Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or visit http://lacrimestoppers.org .

Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Bureau