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Traffic stop leads sheriff's deputies to $1-million marijuana stash

February 12, 2012 | 10:11 am

Map shows approximate location of incident as a black square and recent crime reports in brown and red. Click for more details on The Times' interactive Crime L.A. project.

A routine traffic stop early one morning last week led Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies to an estimated $1 million worth of marijuana and nine arrests, authorities said.

Deputies pulled over Harry Kaladjian, 29, at about 2 a.m. Thursday, near the intersection of 40th Street West and Avenue D in Lancaster, authorities said. The deputies discovered that Kaladjian, of Lancaster, was driving with a suspended license and was on active probation.

Because Kaladjian was on probation, authorities said, the deputies went to his home in the 7200 block of West Avenue A for a probation compliance check.

Inside, they found a large-scale operation for growing marijuana. Rooms had been converted into growing areas with planting beds and artificial lighting. About 800 plants filled the home. Deputies also recovered several large plastic bags full of marijuana that had already been processed, and found an area dedicated to processing so-called "hash oil," a thick liquid made from cannibis plants.

The cache, sheriff's officials said, had an estimated street value of $1 million.

The find led to eight more arrests, aside from Kaladjian: Teresa Ornelas, 25; Daniel Ornelas, 26; Ayman Khalil, 33; Jack Terastbadsadrian, 28; Aaron Sagnanert, 22; Derek Howard, 19; Christopher Bailey, 22; and George Yakoub, 24.


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Image: Map shows approximate location of traffic stop in black, with recent crime reports in brown and red. Credit: Los Angeles Times