Electrical Fire in Anaheim Reveals Marijuana Growing Operation
"I thought the smoke smelled funny..."
Photographer Kevin Warn informed the Weekly that Thursday, July 24th at approximately 8:30 p.m., Anaheim Fire Department responded to reports of an electrical fire at 1676 West Lincoln Ave. Five minutes later, according to Anaheim's online crime map, marijuana cultivation was reported at the same site.
The fuse box in question
This location, situated right off the 5 freeway at the intersection of Lincoln and Euclid, has something of a sticky history with the even stickier herb. According to Yelp and Instagram, 1676 West Lincoln was previously the site of "Anaheim Patient Group." A cache of older Weedmaps locations shows they had a gala grand opening on February 18th, 2013 - over a year ago. With their last Instagram post on May 13th, 2013, it would appear this dispensary did not last very long. A body of rulings seems to support this, referencing Judge Lewis Gregory making two rulings regarding a case titled "City of Anaheim vs. Anaheim Patient Group" (both rulings were requests for judicial notice). Further examination of this same document revealed that, at the time of this case, Edward and Julie Chen of Arcadia were the owners and leasers of the property itself, while Ana Herrera was the tenant. A tax certificate shows that Edward Chen has owned 1674-1676 West Lincoln as "non-residential building operator" since August 1st, 2008.
A blog post dated October 22, 2013 lists the same address under another name: "Casa De Dabz." Searching for this dispensary revealed dozens of reviews on Weedmaps for the same dispensary, many of which are from August through October, 2013. Unfortunately, they did not leave as much of a web trail, so their date of closure cannot be confirmed.
Given the location's track record, it isn't surprising that what Kevin Warn described as a "large and sophisticated grow operation" was discovered once the fire was extinguished. The fire itself makes complete sense upon finding the plants - grow operation fires often result from illegal electrical modifications to allow for the sheer amount of electricity required to power a grow op. This was a sizable one, too. "Firefighters then discovered several hundred marijuana plants growing," reported Kevin.
Anaheim Police are reportedly handling the investigation, with no suspects currently in custody.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts