LAS VEGAS - A police task force busted several pot houses in an upscale valley neighborhood this week. On the outside, the homes look like any other. But on the inside, they are sophisticated marijuana nurseries.
One of the homes sits in the upscale Lakes community. Jennifer Rodriguez lives next door. She says she was shocked when Metro Police SWAT teams raided her neighbor's home. "We were actually outside playing catch when we heard the blast go off," Rodriguez said. "I grabbed (my son) and ran inside. We had no idea what was going on."
The raid culminated from a three-month investigation into 36-year-old Cory Coleman. Metro says he ran two large-scale, marijuana grow houses in the Lakes. One was on Sandy Shores Drive. The other was on Cliff View Way. Police arrested Coleman at his home on Chaparral Summit in Peccole Ranch.
The police sergeant who spoke with 8 News Now about the raid had to conceal his identity, because he supervises undercover officers. "We actually recovered approximately 150 pounds of marijuana through the three residences and about $1,000 in U.S. currency," he said.
He says the department is uncovering a record number of marijuana grow houses. Drug dealers often use sophisticated equipment to produce high-potency pot plants. They are stronger than weed produced in past decades and highly profitable. "Quality indoor marijuana could go anywhere from $4,000 to $5,000 a pound," he said. Coleman's alleged operation produced street value of about $750,000. "It's a fairly substantial amount," the Metro sergeant said.
Neighbors are relieved officers put a dent in the drug trade and that the homes are no longer packed with pot. "It's really bad, because I've got three kids right here," neighbor Joseph Ronia said.
Coleman is scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday morning.