SWAT team finds pot grow, guns, 'guard pig' at Modesto home

09/28/2012 9:51 AM

09/28/2012 10:36 PM

The police SWAT team searched a home in south Modesto on Friday morning and found marijuana, several firearms, pit bulls and an aggressive pig.

Anonymous tips about a suspected outdoor marijuana grow led officers to the 100 block of Glenn Avenue about 8:30 a.m., said interim Police Chief Gene Balentine.

Officers using a loudspeaker instructed the residents to leave the house. At least two men and two women came out. One of the women was allowed to go back inside to retrieve her child, Balentine said.

A relative who wouldn't give his name said a man, woman and 4-year-old boy live in the home. The adult residents were detained and taken away in handcuffs.

Martin Martinez, 51, later was arrested on suspicion of marijuana cultivation, possession for sale and weapons charges.

Before SWAT team members entered the residence, they set off a flash-bang grenade to get the attention of anyone else who might be inside.

At least 16 surveillance cameras surrounded the property, mounted on the home and trees in the front and back yard. Two pit bulls acted as guard dogs, but neither was as aggressive as a large pig found on the property.

"I've been doing this a long time and I have never seen a guard pig, but it was a pretty vicious pig," Balentine said.

The pig was tranquilized, but still lashed out at officers. It took six SWAT team officers to carry the pig to an animal control vehicle. It was later euthanized; the dogs were taken to the animal shelter.

Inside the home, officers found an AK-47 assault rifle, two .45-caliber handguns and two shotguns, Balentine said.

After SWAT officers cleared the home, the department's street narcotics team and street gang unit moved in and started cutting down about 20 large marijuana plants, Balentine said.

Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at etracy@modbee.com or (209) 578-2366.

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