Man arrested pot and cash seized

Modesto police discovered a backyard marijuana-growing operation and $179,000 in cash Friday morning at a north Modesto home.

Clarence Pickens, 32, of Modesto was arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana for the purpose of sale and cultivation of marijuana, officials said. Officers received information about possible drug activity at the home on Dyer Lane, just south of Sylvan Avenue and west of Coffee Road. About 8 a.m., police served a search warrant at the home and found Pickens with several other people, including children, said Sgt. Brian Findlen, a Modesto police spokesman.

Pickens lived at the rental home and was the only person arrested. Findlen said officers found a suitcase inside the house filled with the cash. The officers found the outdoor growing operation in the back yard with a tarp covering the marijuana garden. Findlen said the tallest plant reached 8 feet, and the officers seized 13 pounds of pot. The marijuana had an estimated street value of $3,800 per pound, he said.

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