Twelve detained as big Ceres marijuana grow is raided. Police, deputies, DEA on scene

What sounded like gunshots to some neighbors actually were flash-bang grenades and non-lethal projectiles shot to take out surveillance cameras as law enforcement served a search warrant at a big marijuana grow on Richland Avenue on Monday morning.

The operation, which includes the Ceres Police and Stanislaus County Sheriff’s department, along with county Drug Enforcement Agency, began sometime before 7 a.m.

Twelve people were detained on the sidewalk on the 1600 block of Richland, just north of Zona Bella Lane.

The pot grow is on a “huge” piece of open land behind the home, Ceres police Sgt. Jason Coley said. Both the police and sheriff’s SWAT teams were needed to safely search the property, he said.

The search revealed six outbuildings, all containing marijuana plants in various stages of growth, Ceres Police Department spokesman Sgt. Greg Yotsuya said in a news release. Processed marijuana also was found in the house, he said.

One deputy on scene said the plan Monday was to bulldoze the entire field of pot.

The smell from the marijuana plants was thick in the air. Coley said the serving of the search warrant came after several complaints by neighbors throughout the year.

Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Joshua Clayton said the grow was about 1,400 plants. The raid also netted two guns. Thirteen people were detained during the serving of the warrant, Clayton said, and two were taken into custody.