Sgt. Alex Neicu of Tracy Police Department said officers in the Special Investigations Unit raided alleged marijuana grow houses on the 4400 block of Tropaz Lane and the 1800 block of Amatchi Drive.
Neicu said they had received tips that people were cultivating marijuana in the houses, which are both rental homes.
Officer found 900 plants at the Amatchi Drive house and 300 on Tropaz Lane. Neicu described the plants as being in different stages of growth, from small to about 5.5 feet tall and ready for harvesting.
While officer were searching the house on Amatchi Drive the two suspects were seen driving by the house and were stopped and arrested Neicu said.
Kevin Nguyen, 21, and Nikki Huynh, 34, were booked into San Joaquin County Jail on charges of cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and theft of utility services of more than $400.
Nguyen and Huynh are each being held on $240,000 bail and will appear in the Manteca branch of San Joaquin County Superior Court at 1:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 23.
The suspects led officers to a third house in the 100 block of Portola Way. Neicu said no plants were recovered at that house, which the suspects were using as their home.
The 900 plants recovered on Amatchi Drive were the most found in a single house this year, Neicu said.
The Special Investigations Unit has been busy in 2013, Neicu said, seizing a total of 11,000 marijuana plants in 32 raids on grow houses in city limits.
“This is not mere possession,” Neicu said. “This is cultivation and sales and goes into conspiracy and organized crime.”
He said all the plants seized in Tracy this year have a California street value of $8.14 million. Prices for marijuana are higher on the East Coast, however, making the seizures in Tracy worth $38.6 million to buyers there.
All the homes identified as grow houses in Tracy have been rentals, and Neicu urged residents to be watchful of suspicious neighborhood activities.
He mentioned cars that stop by at night or odd hours for a short period of time, windows that are covered or blacked out, and residents who don’t want to be seen by neighbors.
Neicu said the owners or managers of the properties hadn’t inspected them regularly.
People who think there might be illegal activity in their neighborhood can call the Tracy Police Department business line at 831-6550 or contact Tracy Crime Stoppers. Anonymous tips can be made by calling 831-4847, texting TIPTPD and the tip to 274637 or submitting an online form at www.tracycrimestoppers.com.
• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or email@example.com.