3. $24 Million Worth of Weed Discovered in O'Melvany Park
Date: August 2010
Location: Granada Hills
Hiding weed in L.A.'s second largest park probably seems like a good idea, because who's going to notice a little weed in a huge park, right? Well $24 million worth of weed isn't "a little weed." Over 3,000 marijuana plants in various stages of development were found at O'Melvany Park after the LAPD acted on a 10-month investigation. Authorities began taking aerial photos of the alleged grow sites, then detectives followed the main hiking trail and found over one-hundred plants, some of which topped 10 feet. According to the LAPD, a complex watering system that involved blocking a dam, tubing, a battery powered pump and a timer was also discovered. Natale Gabriele, 49, was arrested and released after posting bail. The LAPD believes the massive operation ran for at least two years.