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Odor leads deputies in Palmdale to illegal marijuana cultivation

January 22, 2013 |  2:04 pm

This post has been updated. See note below for details.

Three men were arrested on charges of cultivating marijuana after Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in Palmdale detected a strong odor coming from a local residence and discovered scores of illegal plants being grown there, authorities said.

According to a statement from the Palmdale sheriff’s station, the deputies noticed the distinct smell at about 4 p.m. Monday while working patrol in the 37000 block of 5th Street East. Authorities said they investigated and saw Daniel Campos, 31, of Palmdale, and Eric Thuesen, 39,  and Joseph Marsetti, 23, both of Chatsworth, loading lighting equipment, plant fertilizer and large plastic bins and bags into a vehicle.

After the car pulled away, deputies stopped it and the driver confirmed there was a marijuana cultivation operation at the 5th Street East residence. Authorities said they recovered a rifle, about 40 marijuana plants and 40 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $40,000, from the home.

[Update at 3:33 p.m. Jan. 22: The Palmdale's sheriff's station later updated the numbers to 240 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $240,000, as well as 240 plants.]

The plants were being grown in two bedrooms equipped with artificial lighting and a ventilation system, authorities said.

All three suspects were transported to the Palmdale sheriff’s station and booked on charges of cultivation of marijuana, sheriff’s officials said. Bail for each was set at $50,000 and the three are scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 14.  

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-- Ann M. Simmons in Santa Clarita

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