The Glendale Police busted a major marijuana-growing operation in Glassell Park Thursday that has left many people puzzling over this question: How could such an elaborate set-up in a former furniture warehouse, involving some 1,000 pot plants worth $1.5 million, have survived just a block away from the Northeast Community Station—in territory that’s under the LAPD’s jurisdiction?
Patch contacted both the Glendale Police Department and the Northeast Station to find out about the bust—first reported by the Glendale News Press—and to ask why, as some the neighbors in the area have alleged, the LAPD did nothing when informed about the pot-growing operation, which attracted suspicion because of the smell of marijuana in the vicinity. ("We thought it was skunks," the owner of Haute House, a nearby furniture business, told Patch.)
Sgt. Sanford Rosenberg, the watch commander at the Northeast Station on Saturday, said that while he was not aware of the bust on the edge of the Glendale-L.A. border, it was certainly possible that some member of the public gave a “generalized statement” to the LAPD about a pot-growing venture in the neighborhood. “But did they call Narcotics, Downtown, Communications, did they talk to the Northeast Division?”
If somebody gives the Northeast Station a tip on narcotics—which, said Sanford, “we get all the time”—the information is passed straight to the Narcotics unit. “These guys are really good at following up.” But “if you’re going to call a patrol car, they’re not going to call the Narcotics unit—and they’re going to drive by the building.”
The officer in charge of the Northeast Division Narcotics unit is Lt. David Kowalski. Some readers will remember that he headed the May 2 raid that shut down American Eagle Collective, Eagle Rock’s most popular marijuana dispensary, under orders from the District Attorney's office, for allegedly illegal narcotics-related activities. Kowalski was unavailable for a comment over the weekend—and Patch is hoping to speak to him Monday.
Meanwhile, according to a Glendale Police dispatcher who was on duty on the morning the June 7 bust occurred, the raid was a “group effort” involving “lots of intelligence tips” collected over months.
And the story doesn’t end with the warehouse on the 3400 block of San Fernando Road and Tyburn Street—with its reportedly air-conditioned interiors that still had enough moisture to dampen parchment paper covering windows. "There are multiple locations—in L.A. maybe—different collectives and storefronts," Cox said.
“It’s possible the LAPD got the info and gave it to us,” said the dispatcher, Jason Cox. “If they don’t have the resources and manpower, we’ll take it on—that happens quite a lot.”
Whether the LAPD cooperated or partnered in any way with the Glendale Police in a deliberate operation that evidently had months of preparation behind it, is a significant question that Patch intends to pursue.
Stay tuned for details.