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MILLION DOLLAR POT BUST IN VALLEY.

Byline: Ryan Oliver Staff Writer

SHERMAN OAKS - Authorities seized approximately $1 million in marijuana plants Thursday night in a Sherman Oaks home that investigators say was used exclusively for indoor pot cultivation.

Two men already in custody from an earlier raid at a southwest Los Angeles house are being held in connection with the discovery, which authorities are calling one of the biggest marijuana busts in Los Angeles this year.

``This is a large, sophisticated marijuana grow,'' said Shirley Lessiak, spokeswoman for the California Department of Justice Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. ``The living room is empty but all of the bedrooms were used as grow labs.''

Los Angeles police officers working under the Department of Justice recovered 413 marijuana plants at the single-story house in the 4600 block of Columbus Avenue near the Sherman Oaks Galleria after entering about 7:10 p.m.

Investigators were led to the address after arresting Stacey Sheller, 35, and Seamus Conley, 25, in a Tuesday raid in the 11900 block of Culver Drive near Westchester. There authorities recovered 304 plants, weighing 160 pounds and worth about $750,000, Lessiak said.

An additional $30,000 in cash and a 2002 Porsche were also seized at the Culver Drive home.

The two men are being held on suspicion of cultivating marijuana.

``This has been a monthlong investigation stemming from a report of suspicious activity,'' she said.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

LAPD narcotic officers Ron Granados and Frank Lyga carry marijuana plants from a Sherman Oaks home. The plants were seized Thursday in the 4600 block of Columbus Avenue.

Hans Gutknecht/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 6, 2002
Words:266
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