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Pot-growing operation discovered in O.C. home

July 23, 2010 | 12:22 pm

Deputies arrested a Lake Forest man after discovering hundreds of marijuana plants and dozens of vials of steroids in his suburban Orange County home.

Undercover narcotics investigators arrested Derrick Frisco, 40, of Lake Forest, Thursday night after raiding his rented home in the 21500 block of Montbury Drive. They discovered several hundred marijuana plants and 40 vials of steroids, said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Frisco was booked on suspicion of cultivating marijuana for sale, possessing steroids and stealing electricity.

Neighbors tipped off sheriff's deputies that something odd seemed to be going on in the two-story home.

"Neighbors thought something was out of the ordinary, and they were certainly right," Amormino said.

The house had an elaborate watering and lighting system that bypassed the electrical meter to avoid raising red flags.

A hazardous material team had to be called after investigators found large amounts of mold in the home, likely caused by heavy watering indoors.

Frisco is being held at the Orange County Jail on $100,000 bail.

-- Tony Barboza