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I-Team: Two Homes Growing Marijuana Busted by Police | Crime

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I-Team: Two Homes Growing Marijuana Busted by Police

LAS VEGAS -- Metro police officers and DEA agents stormed into a quiet Las Vegas neighborhood Wednesday and needed explosives to break into a sophisticated drug operation.

Narcotics detectives, backed up by SWAT, swarmed into two homes near Oakey and Decatur to bust a hidden marijuana and psychedelic mushroom farm.

The raid was the latest operation from Metro's elite narcotics unit Team Six, created to go after indoor marijuana plantations. Already this year, the team has popped more than 60 marijuana grow houses, a 48-percent jump since last year. This year, police have taken over 5,000 plants and over 600,000 grams of drugs off the street.

A tip from a citizen led Team Six to an older neighborhood in the 4200 block of Mountain View. SWAT stormed into the homes and needed several explosive charges to break into a fortified basement in one home that secured one of the grow operations. They also seized control of another operation a few hours later on the same street.

"What we believe is the same crew operating two separate grow houses on the same street. The one we're currently at was heavily fortified," said a Team Six detective.

Altogether, they recovered more than 500 marijuana plants in what they described as a very sophisticated setup. As a bonus, they found two pounds of psilocybin mushrooms being cultivated. Fifty plants were found at the second house.

Team Six says it has no interest in casual users or medical marijuana patients, but that operations like these represent criminal syndicates linked to organized crime.

"This is a violent criminal. He has guns with silencers. He has rifles with suppressors. This suspect has gone out of his way to conceal his crime and to endanger the lives of citizens in their neighborhood," said Metro Lt. Laz Chavez.

DEA agents are now looking for the main suspect. They have not released his name, but say he is considered armed and dangerous and still on the loose. He owned both homes that police busted.

Lt. Chavez says grow operations like this contributed to several murders, drive by shootings, home invasions, and other violent crimes in recent years as criminal syndicates have taken control of the marijuana market.

As always, Team Six is looking for more information from anyone who suspects a drug operation in their own neighborhood.

So far this year, there have been 72 Felony Arrests in connection to marijuana growing operations in Las Vegas.