A man has pleaded guilty to running a sophisticated marijuana growing operation from an upscale suburban Des Moines subdivision.
Timothy Lantz acknowledged Thursday in federal court in Des Moines that he was growing 550 marijuana plants when agents raided his Johnston home last September. He faces a minimum of 5 years in prison when he is sentenced May 31.
The plants ranged from seedlings to specimens up to 6 feet tall. Agents found sophisticated electrical, lighting, ventilation and watering systems that had been installed to support the basement growing operation.
The investigation began in 2010, when the manager of a storage locker with an unpaid bill found gear used for growing marijuana such as lights and power inverters and contacted police. Detectives eventually traced the operation to Lantz.