Seattle police officers recovered what detectives say is an unprecedented number of illegally grown marijuana plants at homes in West Seattle and Beacon Hill and a West Seattle warehouse Thursday evening.
Officers seized 2663 plants and 86 pounds of processed marijuana, which detectives said is the largest illegal marijuana operation they have ever investigated, according to the Seattle Police Department. The West Seattle warehouse alone had 2,200 plants, which is about 48 times the allowed limit of 45 plants for medical marijuana grows in Washington.
Detectives, however, didn’t arrest anyone and said they were only interested in bringing the operation numbers down to the legal limits.
The Seattle police narcotics unit and anti-crime team searched the two houses, in the 2400 block of South Morgan Street and 6500 block of 44th Avenue Southwest, and the warehouse, located in the 2600 block of Southwest Yancy Street, after receiving complaints from neighbors about an overwhelming smell emanating from the grow operation. Police believe the owner was harvesting marijuana and selling it through a dispensary, which he also owns, violating the state’s collective gardens regulations.
Detectives left 45 marijuana plants and 72 ounces of processed marijuana and growing equipment and let the growers at each site select which plants they want to keep.