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After Wednesday raid, police talk about signs of urban marijuana growing


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SALT LAKE CITY -- After the Wednesday night raid that left five Odgen Police officers injured and one killed, police and Drug Enforcement agents carried out hoods for fluorescent lights and ventilation tubes -- equipment often used in the growing of indoor marijuana.

Though police have not confirmed that the raid of Matthew Stewart's home was drug related, his father, Michael Stewart suggested that his son may have had an "urban growing" operation within his home.

Police do say that PVC pipe, boxes for large florescent lights and ventilation tubes filling a neighbor's trash could mean home repair, but it could also be an indication that someone is growing marijuana in their home.

"You may be able to smell it, and our advice is to call your local police, call your sheriff's department, or you can call the DEA," said Frank Smith, Asst. Special Agent in Charge at the DEA in Salt Lake City.

Agents say that growers have even broken into foreclosed homes to grow, and that even when kept to their own home, growing marijuana can affect neighbors, too.

"We're always looking for an increase in the use of water and power," Smith said. "A lot of times they'll steal power from the neighbors, which is very, very dangerous."

The Unified Police say they bust about 10 to 15 urban growing operations each year. The operations are usually for the owner's personal use, and police collect between three and 10 plants a raid. Some, like the warehouse operation in Kearns, however, do grow for distribution.

Email:jboal@ksl.com

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Jed Boal

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