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Authorities estimate value of Diamond Bar pot-growing operation at about $4 million

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The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has released photos of the enormous indoor pot-growing operation taking place in an upscale Diamond Bar home, giving a sense of how big the farm was at the time it was raided earlier this week.

Seedlings grew, plants flourished under grow lights and harvested plants hung out to dry in the house’s cavernous rooms, which were sealed off and filtered to keep the smell from escaping to the outside, authorities said.

About 1,000 plants in various stages of growth were seized, along with 400 pounds of harvested marijuana -- an estimated value of about $4 million altogether, the sheriff’s department said.

The Monday evening bust on the 24000 block of Highcrest Drive also resulted in two arrests: 43-year-old Guoyun Zheng of El Monte and 32-year-old Bat Chenh of Alhambra were booked at Walnut Sheriff’s Station and are being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, the sheriff’s department said.

The block contains a small number of roomy multiple-story homes -- and somehow, the pot growers were able to siphon off electricity to the home they were using. Authorities said a representative from Southern California Edison “responded to the location and estimated the stolen electricity to be (worth) over $100,000.”

Power companies often report unusually high meter readings to the police in case a pot-growing operation is going on inside.

Earlier reports stated that the unidentified owner of the house was believed to be renting the place out to the pot-growers. Authorities have not said whether they think the owner was in on the operation.

Neighbors told CBS they were amazed to find out what was going on next door.

“It’s pretty surprising. It’s a pretty nice community so you wouldn’t expect that to happen here,” one neighbor said.

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