The LAPD played no role in the busting this past week by the Glendale Police Deparatment of a major marijuana growing operation a stone’s throw from the LAPD’s Northeast Division headquarters on San Fernando Road.
Lt. David Kowalski, who heads the Narcotics Unit in the Northeast Community Station and who led the May 2 raid that shut down the American Eagle Collective marijuana dispensary in Eagle Rock, spoke to Patch Tuesday.
Asked about the June 7 raid on a former furniture warehouse, located at 3462 N. San Fernando Rd., just a few feet away from the Glendale border, Kowalski said that it was done “strictly by Glendale” police and that “we have reached out to them for further details.”
News of the bust, first reported by the Glendale News Press and followed up by Patch, raised questions about how the LAPD could have possibly been unaware of a “marijuana grow” so close to the Northeast Station, which is located at 3352 N. San Fernando Rd.
Intelligence issues apart, even an easterly wind would have sent the aroma from 1,000 cannabis plants straight into the station's sprawling parking lot where, on any given day, scores of LAPD officers come and go around the clock.
Asked whether the LAPD had done anything about reported complaints over a period of about a year from neighboring businesses where people occasionally caught the whiff of marijuana coming from the warehouse, Kowalski said: “That’s the first time I’ve heard of it—I don’t have any comment on that.”
Patch asked: “So, nothing was brought to your attention?”
Lt. Kowalski replied: “No, sir.”
While there’s nothing extraordinary about Glendale Police venturing across their border into Northeast L.A. in pursuit of gang members or robbery suspects, this is probably the first time—at least in recent memory—that Glendale cops have raided a pot-growing operation under the LAPD’s jurisdiction.
For his part—and for the record—Lt. Kowalski said: “Any chance we can stop any kind of narcotics trafficking or harvesting, we’re going to do it.” He added: “But they [Glendale Police] had the information—it was their operation and their arrest.”
Patch contacted Glendale Police Det. Nelson Aguillon, who was part of Thursday’s raid on the pot-growing operation, for details. Aguillon referred Patch to Sgt. Tom Lorenz, spokesperson for the Glendale Police, from whom we're awaiting a call back.