Officers fighting networks of indoor marijuana factories took out what they called a major operation yesterday in a secluded back room of a Miami house where an older lady sold ice cream to kids, reports the Associated Press. The raid targeted a sophisticated pot-growing operation that could net more than $300,000 a year, authorities said. Law enforcement officials from Seattle to Miami are fighting the spread of sophisticated indoor marijuana farms, often run by ethnic gangs, that produce hundreds of pounds each year. “You can go into any neighborhood, the nicest neighborhood you want, and the person next door could be a marijuana grower,” said Mark Trouville, chief Drug Enforcement Administration agent in Miami.
Last week in Seattle, authorities arrested 15 people and raided two garden shops that were part of a Vietnamese drug trafficking group accused of operating at least 19 marijuana grow houses. One San Francisco-based ethnic Chinese drug ring operated at least 50 marijuana grow houses in the Bay area that could produce pot valued on the street at $94 million, authorities claim. Major indoor marijuana rings have also been discovered recently in Atlanta, Houston, and New England.