There goes the neighborhood
Super potent pot operation a real-life Weeds or Breaking Bad scenario acrossHouston
Damn, now that's an operation.
Acting through an investigation task force dubbed "Green House Effect," federal authorities joined forces with state and local officials to arrest 24 people involved in maintaining a network of high-end marijuana grow houses from Spring to Sugar Land.
At the center of the pot cell is allegedly Thu Dinh, a 35-year-old manicurist. Investigators charge that the woman reigned over an empire of hydroponic farms set up in 40 suburban homes throughout the Houston area. More than 14,000 plants were confiscated during busts in mid-August.
It all sounds like something out of Weeds or Breaking Bad, shows that highlight illegal drugs being produced in suburban houses (Dinh apparently didn't think of using fumigation tents for additional cover like Walter White did for his meth operation in Breaking Bad).
The product was known for its potency, with prices up to 10 times higher than marijuana from Mexico. A pound of Dinh brand bud could sell for $5,000.
According to court documents, those arrested told agents they were paid between $1,000 and $2,000 to tend the indoor farms that featured hundreds of plants. Workers had "specific, limited roles and little knowledge of the overall operation" and were driven by Dinh's network leaders to their respective shifts.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Dinh's alleged product was known for its potency, with prices up to 10 times higher than marijuana from Mexico. A pound of Dinh brand bud could sell for $5,000.
Surveillance videos from the "Green House Effect" sting reveal that the houses themselves rarely, if ever, had any active residents. Sophisticated systems of grow lights were well-concealed, as workers made sure to keep foyers and other entry areas looking relatively normal. (Click to see a 2009 real estate tour of a Woodlands home before it was commandeered as a doobie den.)
Dinh's lawyer Mike DeGeurin tells CultureMap that, as of yet, prosecutors have not released much evidence beyond the eyewitness accounts of agents and arrested suspects. He expects more information will be shared when his client is arraigned in the coming weeks.