June 21, 2007
MERCED - Merced and Turlock police officers seized 431 marijuana plants with an estimated street-sale value of $1.3 million Thursday at home in a middle-class neighborhood.
One female suspect was arrested on charges of child endangerment, possession of methamphetamines and possession of marijuana with intent to sell.
Her 5- and 6-year-old children were in the one-story house while police investigators executed a search warrant. The warrant had been issued in connection with a shooting Sunday in Turlock. Officers also found at least one firearm in the residence in the 2900 block of Birmingham Court.
Fourteen members of the Merced SWAT squad arrived with four Turlock Police Department officers around 7:15 a.m. at the house. Shouting in Spanish through a bullhorn, Merced Police Detective Hector Ortiz announced that officers had a search warrant for the Turlock shooting suspect.
Ortiz said the female suspect came out when she heard her husband's name.
"We asked Merced's SWAT team to do the entry for us and it went smooth," said Turlock detective James Silveria. "Leads brought us here to look for evidence on the case. We're continuing to investigate."
No one was hurt in the Sunday shooting, he added, although a vehicle was hit twice. The male suspect in the shooting wasn't at home when members of the Merced Multi-Agency Narcotics Task Force, the SWAT team and Turlock police officers arrived at the home.
Officers said some of the marijuana plants in the backyard were 6 feet high and growing among corn stalks and artificial plants. They also found scales and rifle ammunition inside the house.
Information from The Modesto Bee (www.ModBee.com)
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