On Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., investigators from the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division-Marijuana Enforcement Team served a search warrant at a residence in the 58700 block of Desert Gold Drive in Yucca Valley. Yixian Chen, 53-years-old, was found inside the residence, which contained an indoor marijuana cultivation.
Over 1800 marijuana plants, in various stages of growth, were found inside the residence. The grow operation used advanced lighting, air conditioning, fans, exhaust blowers and air filtering systems to control the climate inside the residence, as well as the odor of marijuana coming from it.
Investigators discovered electricity at the location was being stolen. Personnel from Southern California Edison (SCE) assisted in the electrical theft investigation. Suspects who grow marijuana illicitly will commonly bypass the electrical meter installed by the electrical company. This is done due to the high amount and cost of electricity needed to operate the marijuana growing equipment.
The extreme measures used to illegally grow marijuana endangers the public living nearby. An electrical short caused by the unpermitted electrical wiring most likely would have resulted in an explosion or fire in the residential community, causing possible injuries. The electrical power to the residence will be disconnected so the faulty wiring and eletrical bypass will not create a hazard for the public. The loss from the theft of electricity at the location will be several thousands of dollars.
The suspect was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail on charges of Utility Theft and cultivation of Cannabis; over six plants.
Anyone with information regarding this in vestigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909)387-8400 or NARC-MET@sbcsd.org. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.