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Police Seek Family after Marijuana Bust

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Posted: Feb 26, 2013 6:32 PM

Updated: Feb 26, 2013 10:40 PM

SAN JUAN - Police are searching for the tenants of a home allegedly used to grow and stash drugs in San Juan.

People who live near the house at 213 Bluebird Street said the residents had small children. The house's driveway is covered with children's drawings and toys are also visible in the back yard.

The family disappeared after police found 1,800 pounds of marijuana and eight marijuana plants at the house last week.

Police said the chemicals used to grow the marijuana are dangerous.

"When you throw that into a closed environment in a room ... you add the heat from the sun lamps ... it's going to get into the house. It's going to get into the ventilation system as well as the water runoff," San Juan Police Sgt. Rolando Garcia said.

Garcia said the owner of the house is helping police locate the renter.

The home will be red flagged in the real estate market, officials said.

The owner now must notify potential buyers about the marijuana-growing operation if he ever tries to sell the house.

That could make a sale difficult.

"He wasn't aware of what happened until he actually saw the media reports about it," Garcia said of the owner.

Garcia said growing operations are worse than stash houses for landlords.

Many law enforcement agencies now treat marijuana-growing operations like meth labs, officials said.

"You have to notify the people that are buying the house that this once was a location where they were growing or making narcotics," Garcia said.

A nearby resident planned to put her house on the rental market. She is thinking twice about that possibility.

"It's scary putting your house into somebody else's hands. You don't know what they could be doing in there," Ariel Saenz said.

State law requires homeowners to notify potential buyers about crimes committed on the property. The law does not require landlords to tell potential renters about the crimes, but they can't lie about them either.

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