Los Angeles/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on February 22, 2024
North Hollywood Brothers Charged After Ventura County Sheriff Unearths Massive Illegal Cannabis OperationSource: Unsplash/CRYSTALWEED cannabis

Brothers Vilen Ayvazyan, 34, and Hovannes Barseghyan, 41, of North Hollywood, found themselves in cuffs after a sheriff’s narcotics investigation blew the lid off their large-scale illegal pot-growing operation, authorities said Wednesday. he duo had converted a Thousand Oaks residence into a veritable cannabis factory, complete with removed kitchens and bathrooms and converted living spaces to support the sophisticated growth and harvesting of the dubiously fragrant herb, as reported by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.

The snooping started back in September when sheriff's narcotics detectives received a tip about the possible grow site in the quiet city of Thousand Oaks; the detectives uncovered that Ayvazyan, the homeowner, was reportedly the brains behind the operation, while Barseghyan managed the weed crop's day-to-day nurturing, by the time Valentine's Day came around, the two were arrested following the execution of search warrants not only at the grow house but also at their homes in North Hollywood, where the law found not just pot, but guns and suspected evidence of identity theft.

Inside the Calle Contento house, what was once a family dwelling had been completely gutted for marijuana production, with only a refrigerator remaining in the kitchen area, nearly all bathrooms removed, and living areas transformed into specialized zones for growing cannabis. The search turned up two rooms full of drying marijuana, totaling over 160 pounds. Sergeant Dan Ashmore stated that the unauthorized modifications created a significant fire hazard by dangerously bypassing the electric meter, leading to an estimated value loss of over $50,000, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.

Charged with various narcotics and theft of services crimes Ayvazyan is still behind bars pending a court appearance, while his brother was released on his recognizance, his next court date is April 4, and detectives are digging deeper into the brothers' activities to uncover any additional identity theft offenses. The Ventura County Sheriff's Narcotics Unit is not easing up on their crackdown on cannabis-related criminal activity that poses a threat to the community, as they continue to urge residents to report any suspicious happenings to their local law enforcement agency.