GOLETA — Jackson Burns opened the door to his Goleta home last week to be confronted by an unknown number of masked home-invasion robbers. Hours later, Burns, 18, was himself under arrest for conducting a large-scale marijuana growing operation in the house.
According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Drew Sugars, the unusual turn of events began at approximately 10 p.m. last Thursday evening.
“The robbery suspects overpowered Burns, zip-tied his hands, covered his head with a towel and threw him into the living room,” Sugars said in a statement to the media.
The home invaders then made their way to the rear of the house where they discovered a 21-year-old male and robbed him of $30 cash.
Once the robbers fled the scene, Burns quickly called 911 and summoned law enforcement.
Upon arriving on the scene, sheriff’s deputies secured and cleared the residence to be sure that the suspects had indeed fled. In doing so, deputies discovered what Sugars described as a “sophisticated multi-stage marijuana cultivation operation, as well as other evidence indicative of illegal drug sales.”
Narcotics detectives were then called to the house, where they found four bedrooms equipped with marijuana growing equipment, scales, packaging, shipping supplies and a loaded shotgun. The value of the paraphernalia is estimated at $15,000, while the street value of the marijuana crop in the house is estimated at $1.1 million.
Investigators soon learned that Burns was allegedly selling his “grow” for $3,200 per pound and shipping it to his home state of Georgia, a process that Sugars noted “does not conform to the rules of Proposition 215.”
Burns was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sales, and narcotics trafficking while in possession of a firearm, with his bail set at $30,000.
The reported home invasion robbery suspects remain at large.