Stoners Busted in Weed Raid - NBC Chicago

Stoners Busted in Weed Raid

"You might as well go big," says one suspect



    Stoners Busted in Weed Raid

    Wannabe drug dealers were caught up because they didn't manage their power needs properly.

    The feds raided a home at 107 Bridge St. in Gary Wednesday after receiving a tip from NIPSCO about customers suspiciously sky-high electric bills, the Post-Tribune reports.

    The authorities found an an elaborate irrigation and lighting system in a basement and backroom hooked up to grow nearly 500 marijuana plants that was sucking up plenty of juice.

    They promptly zapped over to place handcuffs on Jairo Fernando-Valdez, Obed Ornelas and Luiz Carlos Gamboa-Chavez, according to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Hammond.

    A light bulb went off in one suspect's head who asked agents if the home's energy usage turned them on to the marijuana operation.

    NIPSCO informed officers the house consumed 2,300 to 2,700 kilowatts per hour on average for four months. A typical wall AC unit uses one kilowatt an hour. Picture more than 2,000 AC units running at the same time.

    Court documents show Ornelas admitted to officers it was his first try at growing weed. But he seemed pretty impressed with the ambitious plan.

    "If you're going to do it, you might as well go big," Ornelas said according to the complaint.

    If the suspects are found guilty, they should hold onto that can-do attitude in prison.