RIVERSIDE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
Sheriff Chad Bianco
|House Fire related to Marijuana Cultivation
|July 23, 2021
|July 23, 2021
|24000 block of Millsap Drive, Moreno Valley
|Sergeant Robert Martinez
Structure fire possibly caused by electrical bypass in illegal marijuana grow.
On July 23, 2021, at 7:47 a.m., deputies from the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station were dispatched to a report of a house fire in the 24000 block of Millsap Drive, Moreno Valley. The Riverside County Fire Department also responded and extinguished the fire. While doing so, evidence of illegal marijuana cultivation was discovered. Due to the illegal marijuana grow, personnel from the Moreno Valley Station’s Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Team responded and assumed the investigation. A search warrant was subsequently authored and executed which resulted in the collection of over 300 plants and multiple pieces of equipment used in the illegal cultivation. The interior of the residence had been converted into a cultivation home with no usable living space left. There was an illegal electrical bypass, a watering system, multiple gallons of chemicals, and lighting associated with the cultivation of marijuana. The fire appeared to have started at the electrical bypass and spread through the garage. Although this residence was unoccupied at the time of the fire, it is in a densely populated neighborhood with occupied homes surrounding it. Homes converted to illegal marijuana grows pose a significant danger to the residents in the community, especially those near the grow. Not only is there a risk of fire spreading to the occupied homes, these grows often drain water, heavily polluted with chemicals from the grow, into the sewage drainage system that is not designed for such use.
At the conclusion of the search warrant service, a City of Moreno Valley Code and Compliance officer responded to the location and deemed the residence uninhabitable.
The goal of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is to improve the quality of life for those residing within the communities we serve. “Community Policing” involves partnerships between law enforcement and community members. This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Deputy Jordan Merle at the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station by calling 951-486-6700.
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