Deputies bust two more illegal marijuana grows in Pueblo West

Investigators say the two grows were related

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In less than 12 hours, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office confiscated nearly $1 million worth of illegal marijuana from three home grow operations in Pueblo West on Tuesday.

Around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, police searched a home on Dailey Drive and found 609 illegal marijuana plants and 50 pounds of dried marijuana. Three people–a couple and their adult son–were arrested for that grow.

>> READ MORE: Deputies find 609 illegal marijuana plants in Pueblo West home

Then, Tuesday afternoon, investigators executed a search warrant at 301 West Mangrum Drive. Inside the home they found roughly 120 illegal plants in various stages of growth along with large scale production items.

“This is just good old fashioned drug dealing,” Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor said.

The home also had an indoor swimming pool which investigators believe was being used to irrigate the plants using a hydroponic method. Hydroponics involves growing plants in water rather than soil.

“When you create an environment, which this community has, that accepts and embraces the industry, this is what you get, this is the residual effect,” said Taylor.

Black mold was visible on the exterior and interior walls of the home, prompting the Pueblo City-County Health Department to condemn the home for health reasons. The home was also deemed unsafe due to electrical alternations made.

“The house has definitely been an eyesore for quite a few years but I never thought any suspicious things going on around here were worth calling the cops on,” said neighbor Steve Meeks.

Vanessa Bebeau, 32, was arrested in connection with that grow.

Vanessa Bebeau / Pueblo County Sheriff's Office
Vanessa Bebeau / Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office

While investigating the grow on Mangrum Drive, authorities discovered evidence of a possible second grow at a home at 647 Las Verdes Drive. A search warrant was executed at that home, where 100 plants and roughly 40 pounds of dried marijuana were found.

“We also believe that all of the product of the large plants that were ready for harvest that were cut off at the stalks of the Mangrum home are actually drying in the basement of this home,” said Taylor.

Arrested at the Las Verdes home were Gary Copeland, 60, and Mark Harry, 64. Copeland is Bebeau’s step-father.

Gary Copeland / Pueblo County Sheriff's Office
Gary Copeland / Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office
Mark Harry / Pueblo County Sheriff's Office
Mark Harry / Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office

Between the three busts, deputies arrested six people and seized more than 820 marijuana plants, 90 pounds of dried marijuana and hundreds of thousands of dollars in grow equipment and supplies.

“If you’re growing a clandestine illegal grow, then yeah, you should worry because we’re looking for you and the community is looking for you,” said Taylor.

Since March 14, sheriff’s deputies said they have arrested 22 people and seized nearly 4,600 marijuana plants from illegal grow operations at 15 homes in Pueblo County. Fourteen of the homes were in Pueblo West and one was in south Pueblo County.

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