Friday, May 17 2013 8:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:05:13 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- When Randy Kleiner stopped to help an injured driver, he didn't expect to become injured himself. But on Thursday morning, as he was assisting someone who had crashed their car, anotherMore>>
When Randy Kleiner stopped to help an injured driver, he didn't expect to become injured himself.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 9:02 PM EDT2013-05-18 01:02:54 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A volunteer basketball coach at Shadow Ridge High School has been arrested, Clark County Schools Police Lt. Ken Young said. According to the Clark County Detention Center, the volunteer coach,More>>
A volunteer basketball coach at Shadow Ridge High School has been arrested, Clark County Schools Police Lt. Ken Young said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:56:00 GMT
LAS VEGAS - Metro Police says a preteen who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted robbery has died. Investigators said the preteen was walking near Charleston Boulevard and Torrey Pines Drive withMore>>
Marcos Arenas, a Bonanza High School student who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted theft, has died, Metro Police said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:39:56 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are investigating two people found dead in an apartment complex near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway. According to police, the bodies were found around 3 p.m. Friday atMore>>
Metro Police are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman whose bodies were found in an apartment Friday afternoon near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:17 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:17:28 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Clark County firefighters are responding to reports of an explosion and fire at a facility located at North Las Vegas Boulevard and Sloan Lane. This is a developing story. 8NewsNOW. com willMore>>
One person is reported dead following an explosion and fire at a facility located at North Las Vegas Boulevard and Sloan Lane.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:03 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:03:09 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The theft of iPads, iPhones and other Apple devices is becoming commonplace, earning it the nickname, "Apple-picking," the police said. Bonanza High School student Marcos Arenas died ThursdayMore>>
The theft of iPads, iPhones and other Apple devices is becoming commonplace, earning it the nickname, "Apple-picking," the police said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 6:42 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:42:38 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The Federal Election Commission had found that the parents of disgraced former Sen. John Ensign of Nevada made excessive in-kind contributions to a former political action committee staffMore>>
The Federal Election Commission had found that the parents of disgraced former Sen. John Ensign of Nevada made excessive in-kind contributions to a former political action committee staff member.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:21:11 GMT
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The lawyer who unsuccessfully defended O.J. Simpson against armed robbery charges in Las Vegas says his client knew two companions had guns in a 2007 confrontation with memorabilia dealers. MiamiMore>>
The lawyer who unsuccessfully defended O.J. Simpson against armed robbery charges in Las Vegas says his client knew two companions had guns in a 2007 confrontation with memorabilia dealers.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 2:08 PM EDT2013-05-17 18:08:48 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Eight hundred new teachers will head into Clark County classrooms, as the Clark County School board approved its $2.1 billion dollar budget for the 2013-2014 school year. For the first timeMore>>
Eight hundred new teachers will head into Clark County classrooms next year based on the $2.1 billion budget the Clark County school board approved Wednesday night.More>>
LAS VEGAS -- The explosion in Las Vegas marijuana grow houses prompted Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie to create a special unit known as Team Six.
Their job is to target the indoor pot farms. What they've found is a greater and greater concentration in the hands of international groups who have moved in to take advantage of foreclosed homes and cheaper rents.
In just the past 48 hours, Team Six has made two discoveries that hint of a much larger problem.
The exclusive community of Canyon Gate Country Club isn't where you'd expect to find a marijuana plantation. But a constable serving an eviction notice earlier this week figured out what was going on inside an expensive home.
Like most grow houses, this one had been trashed -- damage that will not only cost the owner, but also taxpayers.
A Russian man, living there with his wife and child, was arrested by Team Six.
On the same afternoon off Blue Diamond Road, hikers found and reported piles of discarded marijuana -- some of it already harvested, leftovers from an unknown grow operation.
In 2009, Las Vegas narcotics detectives busted 108 grow houses, some of them operating on a massive scale. A former auto repair shop was converted into the largest weed warehouse ever seen locally, with 2,000 plants worth an estimated $7 million.
Anyone with access to the internet can glean the expertise needed to start their own operation. The men who created this masterpiece of a grow house had no previous records. They work for a California air conditioning company and commuted back and forth.
"With the foreclosure crisis what it is in Las Vegas, it's easy for people to come in from California, rent a house cheap for this purpose, then take it back and sell it to dispensaries," said an undercover detective.
Inside one pot house, police found labeled containers suggesting the product was bound for a legal dispensary. Metro says it's not interested in going after legitimate medical marijuana storefronts but the line is often blurred.
Las Vegas is now a net exporter of marijuana, they believe, and the trade is dominated by organized crime.
"What we're seeing in these houses is not medical marijuana. These are not a few cigarettes. This is hundreds of plants -- a level of sophistication you only see with drug trafficking organizations," said Metro Lt. Laz Chavez.
Lt. Chavez supervises Team Six. In its first year, the team saw huge increases in every category it measures – houses, arrests, product and violence. The potential for bloodshed is why the grow unit uses the muscle of a SWAT team to serve search warrants.
"Home invasions, robberies, even murders related to the marijuana grows and sales. The reasons? It's lucrative," said an undercover detective.
Sheriff Gillespie says these groups are organized crime syndicates.
"What we're seeing here in our valley are organizations that are working and it's for the money," he said.
Sheriff Gillespie green lighted the grow squad, in part, because of who controls the trade. Traditionally, Mexican mobsters sold most of the marijuana in the southwest. But a new force has emerged -- Asian organized crime of Chinese and Vietnamese origin.