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SBSD - Victorville Police Department
Tuesday March 20th, 2018 :: 08:13 a.m. PDT
Advisory

600 marijuana plants found after Sheriff's Narcotics Division serve search warrant in the 12300 block of Balsam Road

DATE/TIME: Friday, March 16, 2018 / 1:30 p.m.

INCIDENT: Indoor Marijuana Grow & Theft of Utilities

LOCATION: 12300 Block of Balsam Road, Victorville

SUSPECT: Gregory Lee Helke, age 59, resident of Victorville

SUMMARY:

The Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division - Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) served a search warrant at the residence and found an indoor marijuana grow. Nearly 600 marijuana plants, in various stages of growth, were found. The grow operation used high-powered lighting, air conditioning, fans and exhaust blowers to control the climate inside the residence as well as an air-filtering system to control the odor of marijuana.

The suspect was found inside the residence during the search warrant service and was arrested without incident and later booked at the High Desert Detention Center.

Investigators also found the electricity at the location was being stolen to facilitate the grow operation. Personnel from Southern California Edison (SCE) assisted in the electrical theft investigation. Suspects who grow marijuana illegally will commonly bypass the electrical meter because of the high amount of electricity used to operate the marijuana growing equipment. The loss from the theft of electricity at this location will be several thousands of dollars.

The extreme measures used to illegally grow marijuana endangers the public living near the residence. An electrical short caused by the unpermitted electrical wiring most likely would have resulted in an explosion or fire in the residential community causing possible injuries to bystanders near the residence or property damage. The electrical power to the residence was disconnected so the faulty wiring and electrical bypass will not create a hazard for the public.

Personnel from the City of Victorville Code Enforcement Division responded to the residence to begin their investigation. The electrical power was disconnected by SCE and the residence was “red tagged” unsafe to occupy.

The suspect will face charges of Cultivation of Cannabis; more than 6 plants and Theft of Utilities.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation or is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909) 387-8400 or NARC-MET@sbcsd.org. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.



Refer: Sheriff’s Public Affairs
DR #: 651800131
Phone No. (909)387-3700
John McMahon, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department

Address/Location
SBSD - Victorville Police Department
14200 Amargosa Rd
Victorville, CA 92392

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 909-387-3700

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