Cops Stumbled Upon Marijuana House in Rancho Palos Verdes
Cops searching for a burglar from a case several blocks to the north came across a suspicious man in a car parked outside the alleged grower's house, and that prompted authorities to search the home:
It all started Thursday afternoon when deputies went to the 27800 block of Alaflora Drive in the Rancho Palos Verdes based on a report of burglary suspects in the area, according to a sheriff's statement released over the weekend.
Cops spotted a man "matching the description" of a burglary suspect sitting in a parked car outside a home in the 2000 block of Noble View Drive (several blocks to the south), authorities said.
Thinking he might have been involved in a Alaflora Drive burglary as well as an earlier one on Noble View, and that an additional suspect might be inside the house the man was parked near, cops swarmed the residence, according to the sheriff's department.
A man named Tom Kim was inside the home and surrendered to detectives, who then "stumbled upon" an "elaborate" marijuana grow inside, according to a sheriff's statement.
Detectives believe suspects were supplying area dispensaries with indoor weed as part of a $1 million-a-year operation. Here's what deputies say they found:
Detectives located numerous marijuana plants in the backyard and throughout the house. In one room, detectives found numerous glass jars filled with marijuana buds, packaging and scales. Another room was used as a dry room where deputies found hundreds of plants hanging from a clothesline. There was also evidence of manufacturing hashish, concentrated cannabis, and packaging for sales. A washing machine in the backyard was located and believed to be used to make hashish from the marijuana plants. It appeared the suspects were supplying marijuana to dispensaries, but had no documentation indicating they were operating a legitimate business.
About 100 pounds of weed and $10,000 in cash were seized, deputies said.
Cops say Kim has a child with common-law wife Molly Hwang and that the kid was put in danger, ostensibly by the nature of the business: After turning herself in later she was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment, authorities said.
In fact both were arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment, illegally cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana and hashish for sales, deputies said.
Both were booked and then released on $100,000 bond. It doesn't appear Kim had anything to do with the burglary investigation, something we're sure his attorney will bring up when he heads to court June 14.