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Pueblo County deputies find illegal marijuana grow related to earlier bust

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Posted at 1:12 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 15:25:04-04

PUEBLO — Deputies arrested a man after finding an illegal marijuana grow in an Avondale home for the second time in less than three weeks, according to the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office said 45-year-old Ricardo Leal-Ruiz was arrested Wednesday after seizing 37 marijuana plants worth approximately $40,000 from the home located at 202 Jane St. The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office received tips about a possible illegal marijuana grow taking place in the house.

Narcotics detectives with the sheriff's office found two empty grow rooms in the home after Leal-Ruiz allowed them inside the home. The sheriff's office also said detectives noticed "extensive alterations to the home’s electrical system." Detectives saw a U-Haul truck parked behind the home shortly after and after obtaining a search warrant for the truck, they discovered it contained 37 marijuana plants.

Deputies said a previous illegal grow operation had taken place just three weeks prior. Leal-Ruiz, is the same individual who owns the residence at 315 Jane Street, where a similar illegal marijuana grow operation was found on May 1. Detectives believed both grow operations were related.

Colorado state law allows only 12 marijuana plants per household. The home was condemned because of major changes made to the heating and electrical systems.

Both homes were at the center of illegal marijuana grow operation in August 2016. Detectives found illegal marijuana grows in the 202 Jane St. and 315 Jane St. homes. where the grows were determined to be related. The houses were later sold.