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Police Discover Marijuana Growhouse on Nicoli Lane

Illegal cultivating operation discovered by monitoring unusually high PG&E bills

 

Sonoma Police busted a marijuana grow-house on the 300 block of Nicoli Ln, following complaints from neighbors who reported suspicious activity in the residence.

After monitoring the properties utility bills – and finding an abnormally high PG&E usage – police obtained a warrant Wednesday and at 9:55 a.m. searched the property for illicit substances.

A police team uncovered two separate grow operations in the back yard, cultivating 69 marijuana plants between the two spaces.

Robert Merrill, 22, and Sean Grasso, 44, both residents of the property were cited with a felony count of cultivating marijuana for sale.

Police said that the men were selling the marijuana illegally to a dispensary in Vallejo as a primary source of income.

The marijuana, along with the grow lights, were confiscated by the police department for destruction. Police tagged several structures in the yard, that were built without permit, for removal.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article said that both Sean Grasso and Robert Merrill were booked into Sonoma County Jail. This is incorrect, according to information received by the Sonoma Police Department they were cited and released.

Dorothy May 15, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Just surprises me that they would grow marijuana where it could easily be seen.
Suzanne Barbara May 15, 2012 at 02:51 PM
this sounds as if it was a serious operation--it is good the police found it.
Rena B May 15, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I am glad that the police were able to take care of this marijuana farm.
Disgusted in Sonoma May 15, 2012 at 07:15 PM
With all the problems alcohol and tobacco cause to our taxpayers. This is how our tax dollars are being spent. It said they were growing for a dispansery in Vallejo. Thats where patients go to get their medicine. I guess they would rather have them sell it in our neighborhoods. what a joke. I feel so much safer today.{do real police work} Disgusted in Sonoma
Disgusted in Sonoma May 15, 2012 at 07:16 PM
With all the problems alcohol and tobacco cause to our taxpayers. This is how our tax dollars are being spent. It said they were growing for a dispansery in Vallejo. Thats where patients go to get their medicine. I guess they would rather have them sell it in our neighborhoods. what a joke. I feel so much safer today.{do real police work} Disgusted in Sonoma
Disgusted in Sonoma May 15, 2012 at 07:20 PM
uneducated on the subject!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dorothy May 16, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Disgusted there have to be some rules for growing marijuana for medical facilities, just as there are rules for legal alcohol production. The article said they were "illegally" growing marijuana for a dispensary.
Disgusted in Sonoma May 16, 2012 at 10:20 PM
THEY ARE NOT CORRECT. THE LAW PROVIDES COLLECTIVE MEMBERS TO BRING SOME OF THEIR MEDICINE TO THE COLLECTIVE AND RECOUP THEIR COST TO GROW IT. THE POLICE ARE ASSUMING THAT IT IS ILLEGAL. YOU ARE NOT EDUCATED ON THE SUBJECT. THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. YOU ARE INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN QUILTY. THE SONOMA PATCH REPORTED FALSE INFORMATION. NEITHER GENTLEMAN WAS BOOKED INTO SONOMA COUNTY JAIL. THEY WERE JUST CITED AS WAS REPORTED IN THE SONOMA INDEX TRIBUNE. BIG DIFFERENCE. ITS A TICKET. THE D.A. WILL PROBABLY NOT EVEN FILE CHAREGES. WHAT A JOKE.
sam May 17, 2012 at 04:08 PM
@ Dorothy They have set it to be a catch 22. The 2 people involved in this have Medical recommendations, and were taking the extra to the place where patients are to have safe access. With plant limits being 30 (per recommendation) and them having 3 patient recommendations that would equal 90 plants and they had 69. This was not a big operation. In Richmond yesterday they found a 2100 plant operation. That is a major operation and is being used for profit not for health. Please folks educate yourselves on the topic and don't believe everything you hear from media outletss and the law. This is prohibition
SonomaComa May 20, 2012 at 05:33 AM
Marijuana farm HAHA, you should Google what that means first. 69 plants is a bouquet of flowers.
SonomaComa May 20, 2012 at 05:38 AM
Why don't the police in this town worry about all the tweaks in BOYS!!! I don't understand how the police in this town don't have better stuff to do!! There is a creeper around Sonoma that has been trying to kidnap kids from our local elementary schools and why are they not trying to find him!! why are they not trying to arrest the person why stab and beat AUSTIN RIDGE? Sonoma police have some serious issues to address and growing weed is not one of them, last time I check growing weed was legal in California.
Power2thePeople August 29, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Doesn't it concern anyone they are using PG&E? How is this done and to how many of us? That Grow could not have guzzled all that much more energy to raise red flags. But so what even if it did? When did our power usage become acceptable for government monitoring? When did using as much or as little power as we pay for as customers become a legal concern?
Bruce G. Enos, Esq. August 29, 2012 at 11:23 PM
I am the attorney for one of the defendants in this case. If anyone has information concerning what happened, please contact me, Bruce Enos, Attorney at Law, 707-527-8055 or 707-481-5195. Please leave a message and contact information if I don't answer. Thank you.
Dee Baucher August 30, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I can see why this is such a huge issue for people in this area. The underground economy. Middle class workers, displaced from jobs with "living wages" forced to find alternative incomes... and the underground economy of illegal drugs is one of the only options. This is what has been happening to our community, and many others. It will keep happening as long as there is a steady stream of illegal/cheap labor... keeping wages depressed and workers from being able to keep afloat.

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