Marijuana find linked to pipe bomb in San Bruno
By Brigid Gaffikin, Bay City News Service
January 2, 2006
SAN BRUNO (BCN) - San Mateo County narcotics investigators
detonated a pipe bomb hidden under a San Bruno man's mattress
Friday when they went to arrest him in connection with an elaborate
indoor marijuana grow in a nearby rental property.
San Bruno firefighters discovered the pot around 8:15 p.m. after
responding to neighbors' reports of sparks coming from the roof
of a home in the 3100 block of Fleetwood Drive, Special Agent
Supervisor Leo Capovilla, a county narcotics task force investigator,
When firefighters went inside the home "they stumbled over
a marijuana grow inside the house. The entire house had been converted
into a marijuana operation," he said.
Some 1,298 plants with a combined potential street value of more
than $1 million, were growing throughout the three-bedroom, two-bathroom
home, which had been converted into an indoor greenhouse complete
with overhead lights and a sophisticated filtering and ventilation
system, Capovilla said. The plants ranged from immature seedlings
to plants as high as 4 feet
The transformation from living space to massive grow operation
had taken its toll on the home.
"The house is trashed," Capovilla said.
Authorities are in the process of contacting the home's landlord.
Firefighters alerted law enforcement to their discovery. When
narcotics task force investigators arrived at the home they found
a high-velocity AK-47 and other weapons along with the pot.
Nobody was at the home at the time, Capovilla said. But "it
could have been really ugly for law enforcement going in,"
he said. "Somebody has fortified the place ... in a nice
Information in the home led investigators to another San Bruno
home, in the 600 block of Green Avenue, where they arrested Aaron
George Seits, a self-employed electrician, on marijuana possession
and cultivation charges and weapons charges.
After searching Seits' residence, investigators came across a
pipe bomb, along with a police scanner, additional weapons, ammunition
and stolen property.
The pipe bomb was detonated after Seits' home and neighboring
residences were evacuated, Capovilla said.
The pot haul wasn't especially unusual, Capovilla said, adding
that there is a fairly high demand for marijuana in California.
In October and November the county's narcotics task force dealt
with much larger finds in Daly City and San Bruno, each in yielding
more than 3,000 square feet of marijuana, he said. A properly
conducted grow can raise plants to maturity in four months, he
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