BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – A massive drug bust inside 25 quiet neighborhood homes were all woven into one huge illegal operation.
Investigators said they confiscated more than 2,700 hundred marijuana plants in what they called “Operation Sweet Leaf.”
Police also seized 40 guns, $278,000 in cash and $15 million in Iraqi dinar, which is Iraq’s currency. There was also nearly 150 pounds of dried pot found.
The homes raided span the Front Range, with one reaching into the mountains. The grow operation fed seven states. The pot was being transported by car and U.S. mail.
“California, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas, just to name a few,” an official said at a news conference held on Friday.
Seven children were found living in the grow homes. Significant mold was also found inside some of the homes.
“Incredibly elevated levels of mold that poses health hazards, especially to children,” another official said.
The alleged ring leader is Jordan Buehrer, 23, who police say had a team of people growing the marijuana mostly in the basements of the homes they rented or owned.
“Yes, of course we’ve seen more and more growers over the last several years in homes,” another official said.
Police say it’s likely there are more grow operations hidden among quiet, family neighborhoods.
“We’re not going to stop taking these operations down,” a police officer said. “So I hope this goes out as somewhat of a warning to anybody else who is thinking about opening up these businesses in our neighborhoods.”
The postal service said in one of the money packages they intercepted through the mail they found $10,000.