LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police officers decontaminated a house in the 3300 block of Trickling Stream Circle after SWAT team members busted two people for drugs Wednesday night.
Police discovered the marijuana grow operation after serving an arrest warrant.
The two arrested, a man and woman in their 40s, tried to flee when officers arrived. The two are being identified by police as John and Jane Doe.
The are facing charges of maintaining a house for the sale of narcotics, conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substance Act, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell.
SWAT members were overcome by the smell at the house near Desert Inn and Fort Apache roads. A robot was sent inside the house to determine the source of the smell. SWAT members complained of itching, coughing and respiratory distress.
According to police, the unknown irritant is not believed to be from a chemical or biological source.
"SWAT officers then continued onto the residents to make entry and as they made entry into the house they were affected by an unknown irritant," Metro Police officer Laura Meltzer said. "We don't know the exact nature of the irritant itself, but we don't believe anyone in the surrounding residences were ever in any danger, there were no evacuations that were conducted."
Police asked people who live nearby to stay in their homes.
Shanley O'Hara has lived in the neighborhood for a couple of years and said this type of activity is something she didn't expect.
"This is the first time, this is crazy. I just got home and I've never seen anything this severe," O'Hara said. "I just moved from another part of the valley and there was stuff going on there in that neighborhood as well, where there was guys coming in and out of the house, and it happens everywhere."
Once the house was cleared, officers from Metro's narcotics continued their work. The police seized 1,481 marijuana plants, which the department estimated to hold a street value of $4.5 million. Also seized was almost $30,000 in cash.
None of the SWAT officers affected by the contamination had to go to the hospital.
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