Gilbert police have submitted to prosecutors a case against two men believed to have been running a large-scale marijuana-growing operation.
|Chao L. Lin|
According to Sgt. Mark Marino, Gilbert police spokesman, Chao L. Lin, 32, and Yang Gun Lu, 34, had enough plants in two homes in Gilbert and one in Queen Creek to produce $15 million in marijuana a year. Most of the plants were not yet mature.
Police also seized $250,000 of equipment used in growing marijuana and discovered the men had stolen more than $1,000 of electricity from Salt River Project.
The investigation began Aug. 8 when Gilbert firefighters responded to 3074 E. Agritopia Loop for a report of a gas leak.
The firefighters saw evidence of marijuana production.
Police served a search warrant and found that the entire home had been used for growing marijuana. Police later linked the other two homes to the men.
“We were looking at how widespread this was,” Marino said.
|Yang Gun Lu|
Investigators went to Lin’s house in Queen Creek on Aug. 14 at 1:30 a.m., and after he let them in they found 604 plants.
Lin was indicted on a low-level felony count of production of marijuana, according to court records. The indictment accused him of producing less than two pounds of the drug.
A Maricopa County Superior Court judge dismissed the case in December at the request of the County Attorney’s Office, but prosecutors are eligible to file the charges again.
Lu was never arrested, Marino said.