More Foreclosures Turned into Indoor Pot Farms

As Alex reported 5/12/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues May 8, 2012
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Foreclosed homes are increasingly being purchased or rented by those who are turning the homes into sites of illegal activity: Indoor marijuana farms.

According to law enforcement officials, many of these illegal marijuana farm foreclosures are blending right into suburbia. New owners or renters move into foreclosed properties in middle to upper-class neighborhoods, mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, and appearing like any other good neighbor, The New York Times reports.

“Houses that sold for $1 million before the crisis have been turned into grow houses, equipped with the high-intensity lights, water, and air-filtering systems necessary to produce potent, high-quality marijuana,” The New York Times reports. “Many grow houses go unnoticed, even by next-door neighbors, until there is a fire, typically caused by unsafe electrical wiring.”

Rusty Payne, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration, says areas in Northern California are seeing some of the highest incidences of foreclosures turned into indoor marijuana farms.

Indeed, according to DEA statistics from 2010 — the latest year available — California accounted for more than 70 percent of all marijuana plants confiscated nationwide.

Source: “Foreclosed Houses Become Homes for Indoor Marijuana Farms,” The New York Times (May 6, 2012)

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