Police uncover more than 400 marijuana plants inside South Austin home

More than 400 marijuana plants were found inside of a South Austin home Tuesday.

It was part of an ongoing investigation by the Austin Police Department's Organized Crime Unit.

They say they make marijuana busts often but few are as sophisticated as this set-up on Alexandria Drive.

Jennifer Price has lived on the same street of the grow house for almost four years. She says she's never seen or smelled anything out of the ordinary.

"When they opened the door, you could get a contact high down the street," she told FOX 7 reporter Elizabeth Saab in disbelief, "it was pretty incredible."

Austin Police's Organized Crime Unit says after a lengthy investigation, they searched the house. They found two rooms, filled with 439 marijuana plants; some of them as high as four feet tall.

"This happens more often than you think," says APD's Organized Crime Unit Lieutenant David Socha. "This one we thought was more interesting in the way it was set up with the timers and the water, it was really sophisticated."

Socha says one of the rooms was likely used for cloning. The property is a rental. Police say, no one lives there full time. For the most part, the house was in disarray with holes cut in the walls and ceilings for ventilation.

"We have a school a block away, everyone knows everyone, we're pretty quiet," Price says.

The fact that the neighborhood is typical, and there is nothing out of the ordinary outside of the house, is what's to be expected for a grow house, as they don't want to draw any attention. Police say they are worried for the neighborhood's safety.

"When other people find out these locations are here they have a tendency to rip these locations," Socha says. "Sometimes they'll hit the house next door to steal everything."

Austin police won't say who they suspect is behind the grow house, only that they are interviewing someone. No charges have been filed.

Price describes her neighbor as a white man in his thirties. She last saw him just two days ago. "He only comes home every so often. We see him mow his lawn, paint his fence and his house and that is all," says Price.

Throughout Tuesday afternoon, passersby like Mary Marshall visited the house to get a look. She said she found out about the bust on the neighborhood email chain.

"We just get sometimes cars have been egged or something like that but nothing to this extreme." Price adds, "It's kind of incredible that this is right under our noses literally and we don't know it until we smell it and see it. See the cops drive away."

Austin police cleared out the house. Next, they'll dry out the plants then weigh them to see just how much weed was being grown inside. That weight is how police will figure out the charges.

As far as the people who own this house, they are listed as residents of Fort Worth.

FOX 7 has reached out to the owners but hasn't heard back.

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