Pot growing moves to Calif. suburbs


Illegal marijuana growers turning hot real estate into hothouses

By John Ritter
USA TODAY

LATHROP, Calif. — Rick Estrada didn't think it particularly odd that he never saw his next-door neighbor or that curtains were always drawn. On his block of new homes, everyone was a recent arrival. In fact, some homes still sit empty, owned by investors hoping to "flip" them at a profit.

Never in his darkest dreams did Estrada think the two-story house a few feet from his contained an indoor marijuana-growing operation that authorities believe is the latest wrinkle in drug traffickers' efforts to hide their illegal business.

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