A New York man is behind bars Thursday after allegedly stealing power to grow marijuana illegally in French Valley.
Deputies served a search warrant in the 37000 block of River Oats Lane on Wednesday, chopping down 1,425 unpermitted marijuana plants found growing indoors, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.
Deputies also found the house’s electrical system had been tampered with, creating a fire hazard, and was being used to divert power that was not paid for, according to the department.
Southern California Edison set the total theft of utilities at $202,333, sheriff’s officials said.
Bixiang Dong, 39, of Queens, New York, was arrested on suspicion of stealing electricity and illegal marijuana cultivation.
He remains held at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta and is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.
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