An indoor marijuana grow operation, located at the 5700 block of Thornwood Drive in Goleta.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff Department’s Narcotics Detectives and Gang Unit found what they call the “most sophisticated indoor grow ever seen in the county” on Friday, March 28th in Goleta. According to the Department, detectives acted on a warrant they had procured to search Industrial Digital Services, located on Thornwood Drive’s 5700 block. Once inside, they found five men working to process some of the plants.

Lead suspect, Paul Fischer.

Of the 360 plants found by detectives, approximately 60 pounds had already been processed, with an estimated street value of $246,000. The remainder of the plants were not yet ready for processing, but Sheriff’s Department officials estimated the street value to be $738,000. The Department also stated that the main suspect arrested on Friday was Paul Fischer, 56, who was found to have $60,000 cash in his vehicle as well as paperwork indicating his monthly income from the Goleta plants to be $80,000 per month as well as linking him with both the Goleta grow and another one in San Rafael, north of San Francisco. Santa Barbara County Detectives contacted the San Rafael Police Department Narcotic Task Force, which found another 300 plants-worth an estimated $615,000-in a similar indoor grow in San Rafael.

Processed marijuana being prepared for sale.

Fischer, who owned Industrial Digital Services and rented the building space in which the grow was operated, was charged with Possession of Marijuana for Sale, Cultivation of Marijuana, and Conspiracy to Commit a Crime, and was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail. His bail was set at $100,000. Police said that the five workers found in the Goleta facility have charges pending, and that no evidence was found to indicate that this grow was used in support of medical marijuana cultivation.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.