By Chris Caraveo, Independent Newsmedia
Surprise police arrested six people in connection with a marijuana grow and distribution scheme, the department stated in a release Thursday.
On Feb. 15, investigators from the Surprise Police Department served five search warrants related to the illegal growth and distribution of marijuana. The investigation lasted about one month.
Officers served four of the warrants at residences in Surprise while the other was at a home in Tempe.
Police arrested 31-year-old Cody Ivey, 39-year-old Tara Papano, 30-year-old Justin Parker, 36-year-old Crystalgail Gutierrez, 20-year-old Tyler Hall, all from Surprise. Police a
lso arrested 28-year-old Joshua Harris of Tempe.
The suspects ran their operation under the name “Frosty’s Fresh.” During their searches, investigators located about 645 marijuana plants with an estimated weight of about 213 pounds.
Investigators also located more than 2 pounds of marijuana wax, 10 pounds of cultivated marijuana buds and numerous firearms. Officials also found a hidden lab at one of the Surprise residences, where the suspects produced the wax.
Investigators recovered about $714,000 worth of illegal substances, as well as $12,237 in cash.
Each individual arrested faces numerous felony charges including illegal control of an enterprise, misconduct involving weapons and possession for sale and production of marijuana and narcotic substances.
All suspects were booked into Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office jails.
Surprise police received helped from the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), Tempe Police Department, Goodyear Police Department, MCSO, Surprise Fire-Medical Department, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Economic Security.