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April 17, 2014

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Metro Police bust grow house in Las Vegas Country Club

Sophistication of pot operation surprises authorities

Click to enlarge photo

Amos Cavallo

Metro Police arrested a man in connection with a sophisticated marijuana grow house operation in the Las Vegas Country Club neighborhood Monday night.

Amos John Cavallo, 34, was arrested on charges of growing more than 200 marijuana plants inside a house located on the 800 block of Vegas Valley Drive. The street value of the plants is a little more than $700,000, according to Lt. Laz Chavez of Metro's narcotics unit.

Authorities had been looking for Cavallo since August 2011, when Nye County deputies discovered two marijuana grow houses in Pahrump containing nearly 2,000 plants worth about $5.7 million on the street. Cavallo — the alleged operator of the two grow houses — had fled the scene as deputies arrived at his residence.

Upon fleeing Pahrump, Cavallo eventually made his way to the posh neighborhood of the Las Vegas Country Club, a multimillion-dollar club that was briefly owned by mob boss Moe Dalitz.

A neighbor tipped police to the rental house, prompting narcotics officers to surveil the property for the past few days. When officials confirmed that Cavallo was inside the home, a SWAT team went in and apprehended him, Chavez said.

Click to enlarge photo

Marijuana filled a room at 2440 Turtle Street in Pahrump in August 2011. The alleged operator of the grow house was 28-year-old Amos Cavallo.

What police found inside was surprising.

Nearly every room in the 3,000-square-foot home was converted into a marijuana grow operation, Chavez said. Walls were torn down and rooms were retrofitted with electrical and drainage systems. Cavallo left just a 200-square-foot room for his living quarters.

"It was one of the most sophisticated grow operations I've seen in some time," Chavez said. "It was very sophisticated."

Pot busts have become more commonplace as marijuana growers have stepped up their business, Chavez said. Increasingly, they are moving into more affluent neighborhoods where they can "hide right under our noses," he said.

"Sometimes, these bad guys think if they're in a fancy neighborhood, it'll be harder for us to find them," said Metro spokesman Lt. Dan Zehnder. "There are no typical neighborhoods where (grow operations) happen anymore."

Cavallo was arrested and charged with multiple felony charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana with the intent to sell, and the sale of marijuana. He was booked into the Clark County Detention Center.

For his alleged Pahrump grow houses, Cavallo faces charges of maintaining a place to sell/use/give away a controlled substance, trafficking marijuana, trafficking methamphetamine, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia for manufacturing a controlled substance and theft of a public utility.

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  1. Prohibition is an expensive failure. Legalize everything.

  2. When your kids gets hooked on meth or heroin I bet you'll be singing a different tune.

  3. With everything that is known today about the harmful effects of smoking in general, my conclusion is those that continue the practice are either ignorant, uneducated or simply don't care.

    Tom, why do you care what other people put in their bodies? It isn't any of your business what people do in the privacy of their own homes.The majority of people think weed should be legal. They understand that it is prohibition that damages society and not the use of marijuana. People are frustrated and they do not support the massive waste of public resources used to enforce prohibition.

    Illegal is illegal. Good job. Nice bust. The law is the law. Obey or pay the price.

    Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress had been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.
    -Oscar Wilde

    Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty.
    The obedient must be slaves.
    - Henry David Thoreau