Police Arrest Suspected Pot Grower Linked To Fire In Garage On Warwick

Firefighter injured battling blaze on Warwick Street Wednesday evening.


A 37-year-old man has been arrested for growing marijuana and possessing pot for sale in connection with a blaze that gutted a garage on Warwick Street and left one firefighter injured Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, San Leandro Police identified the suspected grower as Edward Davis of 568 Warwick Street, where fire destroyed a detached garage at about 5 pm Wednesday.

During the 15-minute effort to contain the blaze, an Alameda County firefighter was injured when a beam fell on his head. The firefighter was taken to Eden Hospital for observation.

Once the fire was put out, detectives entered the garage and confirmed the firefighters’ suspicions that the garage was the site of a marijuana growing operation, police said. 

Investigators also discovered that the electrical power lines to the garage had been re-wired to bypass the PG&E service panel to the house and send power directly to the garage.

Police called in a city building inspector who determined that the re-routing had prevented the garage’s power use from showing up on PG&E records.

The building inspector red-tagged the garage as being unsafe. The garage was the only structure to be damaged in the fire.

Police say Davis had a medical marijuana card which had expired some time ago. Detectives estimate that there were 50 to 60 plants in the garage and that the operation could produce about six pounds of marijuana every four months.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation but police said it did not result from the electrical box.

Broadmoor resident Tim Holmes witnessed the fire-fighting effort and contributed two pictures Wednesday evening that are attached to this story. He has also posted a photo gallery with more images.

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Crystal clear April 20, 2012 at 06:19 AM
To all the nosey people with false information.... Get a hobbie!! Learn to read things slower so that you dont get it twisted. It says the fire had NOTHING to do with the MEDICAL marijuana. To all the judgemental people... Thank God for your "perfect" lives. I wish we could all be as perfect as you.
David April 20, 2012 at 01:12 PM
They told me if I voted for McCain, the Feds would be wasting their time and our money busting medical marijuana joints (ahem) like Oaksterdam. and they were right! (sorry to repeat a prior joke). The state has tried to get the feds out of the business and has unfortunately failed. The Supreme Court in a continuing overly-expansive reading of the commerce clause, has determined that Congress can indeed, regulate growing marijuana that's not even sold (not commerce, not interstate), thanks to the awful precedent set by....FDR's "New Deal" Court in 1942 Wickard v. Filburn. Ironically, those who also support Obamacare's definition of "interstate commerce" (you're involved, when you're not involved), can't complain about Federal regulation of marijuana without being completely inconsistent. (For the record, I oppose defining "commerce" as non-commercial activity and "interstate" as completely intrastate, and therefore oppose both Federal regulation of both marijuana produced/consumed interstate and Obamacare).
David April 20, 2012 at 01:24 PM
The city can, through an ordinance, ban the growing of marijuana inside city limits, of course, etc etc. There are plenty of potentially dangerous home operations you can do too, perfectly legally. Leah, you do realize that, for example, I can brew up to 400 gallons of beer/year in my residence for personal use without breaking any law (I probably only brew about 60 gallons/year). Brewing, say, a 10-15 gallon batch requires a propane burner, which could easily cause a fire in my garage if I used it. Of course, screwing with PGE's lines is wrong, and if he was growing 3-4 lbs per quarter, that's a bit excessive for "personal use" but contra the Supreme Court's decision, i don't see how growing stuff for your personal consumption (not for sale) is "commerce" or "interstate" and therefore any business of the Feds. (states and municipalities of course can do what they please, just like with banning alcohol).
Leah Hall April 20, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Re: Medical Pot Dude, my Ibuprophen's just not cutting it anymore. :(
Leah Hall April 20, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Ice cold! "Medical" beer? Did you know that over half the pot consumed in the US now comes from California? Formerly Mexico held this title. Check out Frontlline's "Pot Republic" to learn more about the country's oldest and most wide open marijuana market: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/the-pot-republic/
Leah Hall April 20, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I just did a drive by to see at the house (along with many others doing the same thing, apparently). Small wonder an illegal pot grow would work well at this home, it is fenced like a compound. The home and yard are all but totally obscurred from view by a tall substantial (and new looking) metal fence, gate, and +15' ht thick shrubs/trees. I've always wondered about this house when walking the neighborhood in the past. We have fairly strict ordainances that cover fence ht. (around 3ft. ) and landcape maintainance/ht. This illegal pot grow house's curb condition has me flumoxed...why has the city not enforced its own residential planning codes governing fence and shrub visability obstructions?
Leah Hall April 20, 2012 at 05:26 PM
I don't know what brewers get for their tasty beverage, if they decide to ignore the "personal use" laws governing their hobby, but this map and website may help pot growers decide where best to sell their crop: http://www.priceofweed.com/ As can be seen here, pot sells for anywhere from 0-$300/oz. The market is flooded locally, so we can imagine.... However, if a black market grower decides to sell out of state (as the majority of growers are believed to be doing) they'll fetch $300-$400/oz. in states like Wyoming or Arizona, and over $400/oz. in Iowa, Minnesota and New York. No wonder California is the Pot Republic and that pot has replaced food as our #1 cash crop.
Leah Hall April 20, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Marijuana Production in the United States Comparison with other Cash Crops http://www.drugscience.org/Archive/bcr2/cashcrops.html
Ken Briggs April 21, 2012 at 03:41 AM
so , the city ,county , fire departments should make this bum pay for the clean up and PG&E should collect for the power that he stold .
Rob Rich April 21, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Sometimes I gotta hand it to the Libertarians.
Justin Agrella April 21, 2012 at 06:13 AM
More to the point---when is the asset forfeiture proceeding? That would take care fo that property---they wouldn't own it anymore.
Judge Jones April 22, 2012 at 08:58 PM
I believe we are all familiar with our country's presumption of innocence, or in simple terms "innocent until proven guilty." Also Defamation of Character: Communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual..... So as a community we can learn by “When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” ~ Oscar Wilde We can all judge each other on comments made widely on public forums, and throw stones or we can learn from it, grow as a community and educated others rather than go on a witch hunt.....
Mai jones April 24, 2012 at 06:51 AM
Innocent untill proven guilty.... Im glad to see some people still believe in that. and right on for pointing out that some of these comments are defamation of character. Ive met the man. He is a good person. Howis poping pills better than using marijuana medicaly? To each there own, but the fact remains that we live in California, and here it is legal to grow marijuana for personal medical use.
Mai jones April 24, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I dont use marijuana personaly, but i know people who do. I know a mother on who's liver is who will die soon if she does not get a new liver. Marijuana helps ease her pain. She has a medical growers certificate. Does this make her a "bum" Ken? I know a teenage boy who Chemo has been part of his life since he can remember. marijuana helps him to sleep, and eat without violent ...vomit attacks.
Mai jones April 24, 2012 at 03:49 PM
I dont use marijuana personaly, but i know people who do. I know a mother on who's liver is who will die soon if she does not get a new liver. Marijuana helps ease her pain. She has a medical growers certificate. Does this make her a "bum" Ken? I know a teenage boy who Chemo has been part of his life since he can remember. marijuana helps him to sleep, and eat without violent vomit attacks. Should he be juged so cruely Leah? It is a plant. You put a seed in dirt add some water and thats it. People fear what they do not know, and that is normal, but lets educate instead of judge. Have an open mind and a open heart.. Im not saying, lets all try pot. But cant we at least try to see through the eyes of the people who need relief and get it from a plant rather than a pill mad in a lab by many different chemicals. I dont use marijuana, but i do support it.
Leah Hall April 24, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I support rational decriminalization of marijuana, but cannot support "medical marijuana" abuse. Though some may see it and try to advocate for it as a model of what decriminalization might look like - I simply cannot. Let's keep it real - check out "Pot Republic" on PBS's News program, Frontline. "True to Frontline's form, the segment turned up some dirt on how medical marijuana is providing a cover for drug smugglers who resell California pot for three times its local value in places like Dallas, Texas. The Mexican cartels are also getting in on the game." -Mother Jones Legalize it, tax it and regulate it, and zone it, just like alcohol, cigarettes and firearms.
Leah Hall April 24, 2012 at 04:57 PM
I just took a look at the house suspected of the illegal grow on Google Maps. As I mentioned above, it is astonishing to me that this home's front yard fence and landscaping is so inappropriate for our area and is basically a compound. The images were taken before the 4-5 ft. ht. metal fence and gates were installed, so that aspect of the "fortress" must have been installed recently, say the last year or so.
Concerned reader April 26, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Actually LEAH, those bushes and fences have been there for over 5 years plus. It amazes me how some people can take this so far out and make it so much more than it really is. The news paper needs to get its facts straight. Oh and might I add that the San Leandro Police made this out to be much more than it really was because of an older issue or should I say one officers grudge. Please check your facts before you go bad mouthing this man and his family. He is a very respectful person and has helped out his neighbors on more than one ocassion Rushing to judgement jast makes and ass out of you. Don't go condemned the guy when nothing is for certian. I have to say this is total BS to blast someone on here when all the facts aren't straight...which they are not!
Leah Hall February 07, 2013 at 07:11 AM
Hello Broadmoor Neighbors, A public hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, Feb 7th, in the city council chambers @ 7pm concerning a zone variance for 568 Warwick Avenue located near the corner of Dutton & Warwick. The owner of 568 Warwick has requested a conditional use permit to build an accessory structure which will be a 2 story, 1351sq.ft., garage/office space at this address. The maximum square footage allowed for an accessory structure in a residential neighborhood is 500 sq.ft. The city wants to hear from us about how this structure may or may not impact our single family neighborhood before they make their decision tomorrow night. Please try to attend the hearing at 7pm. You can also email your comments and concerns before 5pm to: Sally Barros at city planning: sbarros@sanleandro.org (Repost from the Broadmoor Neighborhood Association list serve)
Fred Eiger February 07, 2013 at 01:29 PM
It won't have any impact on any home in the Broadmoor. It amazes me how morons will advocated for weed dispensaries but moan and complain when someone does something inocuous on their own private property. That whole neighborhood needs to be bulldozed and the rats and vermin eradicated.
David February 07, 2013 at 01:42 PM
Who owns it now?
Leah Hall February 07, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Thanks for the Patch the story! I shared this news link on the BNA list serve and it and the original message about the hearing tonight have helped generate a good discussion among my Broadmoor neighbors: "I sent an email comment letter on the variance request. Sure sounds like the owner wants a commercial space, or rental unit, or both - and I can only guess for something not legal, as the article states. We built a legal garage on our property 2 years ago, and were limited to a single story, 700 sq. ft with a 1/2 bath. Our lot is 7300 sq. ft. We could not have any internal wall that would make any sort of granny unit. The City was pretty strict about keeping this a standard residential garage structure in keeping with zoning. AMAZING that they are now considering a variance to allow a 1351 sq.ft garage/workspace in a residential area - that is a huge structure. REALLY? is the City that desperate for revenue? What workspace is the nearly the size of a 3-car garage (assuming it's the second floor)? That is a warehouse."
Fran February 07, 2013 at 05:50 PM
If they have the property for it, who cares? They are huge lots over there. I wish i had the room to build a huge garage.
Leah Hall February 07, 2013 at 06:49 PM
It's obvious that some do and some don't, Fran. The main purpose of most public hearings is to obtain public testimony. A Typical Agenda. The adopted procedures should include a standard agenda. A typical agenda for quasi-judicial land use hearings might include the following: Introduction. The presiding officer introduces the matter being heard and announces the ground rules for the hearing. The presiding officer should also address the appearance of fairness doctrine by asking if any members of the hearing body have any interest, conflict, or bias that would preclude their participation and if any members have had ex parte communications regarding the matter at issue. Staff report. Planning staff describe the application being considered; identify and discuss and technical studies; describe possible alternatives; and, if appropriate, make a recommendation concerning the proposal. Members of the decision-making body should ask questions of staff at this point. Applicant presentation. The applicant, who has the burden of proof to show compliance with applicable laws, presents testimony and evidence to support the application. The applicant may have expert witnesses, who should speak at this point. The applicant should addresses any issues raised by staff-proposed conditions. Members of the decision-making body should ask questions.
David February 07, 2013 at 07:04 PM
If it's the same owner, he's already used his property for illegal activities that resulted in a fire and injury. Usually I don't or wouldn't bother with opposing a variance, but if the owner's been breaking the law in the past, it doesn't speak well for future legitimate uses.
Leah Hall February 07, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Broadmoor Neighbors and supporters, Important news about tonight's meeting from the BNA HOA list serve: Good morning Broadmoor neighbors, I strongly encourage anyone who can go to tonight's public hearing to be there in support of our beautiful Broadmoor neighborhood. Tonight's meeting will be especially crowded due to another hot permit issue, however, 568 Warwick will be the first item on the agenda. Please plan to arrive no later than 6:30pm if you want a seat. As of yesterday morning, Sally Barros, in city planning, said she had received very few comments about 568 Warwick, so please keep sending your comments and concerns to her today before 5pm at sbarros@sanleandro.org. In support of the Broadmoor, - A Broadmoor Neighbor
Leah Hall February 08, 2013 at 12:36 AM
Here is a copy of the letter I sent to the city planning department today: To: Sally Barros, City of San Leandro Planning Dept. Re: Zone Variance Permit Request for 568 Warwick Avenue Dear Ms. Barros, I am writing you to share some of my concerns about this property. I thank members of the BNA HOA for alerting me of the public hearing scheduled tonight, February 7, regarding a zone variance permit being considered by your staff and the city. This matter called my attention because of the physical layout of the property as well as a recent news story involving the owner, illegal activity that resulted in a fire and injury. I've lived in the neighborhood for 13 years and this house and lot have always puzzled me because it is out of character, even within the context of a diverse residential mix of house styles and lot size and configurations. After learning about the pot growing operation that resulted in a fire and injury less than a year ago, I felt that my growing concerns had been justified. (continued)
Leah Hall February 08, 2013 at 12:37 AM
We live in a stressed neighborhood plagued by crimes, break-ins and high volumes of largely unmitigated cut-through traffic. Our police department delivers mostly exemplary service, but it is stretched by the rising crime rates of our city and our neighboring cities. Gun violence is no longer something contained within certain blocks and areas, if that ever was the case it certainly isn't true now. While most Americans encounter police officers as a result of a traffic stop, my neighbors and I frequently interact with our officers because of crime in our area. I think it is fair to say that officers and neighbors are stressed by the rising levels of crime we must live in today. (continued)
Leah Hall February 08, 2013 at 12:38 AM
The Broadmoor Neighobrhood is a charming historic residential area. Many of the physical aspects that make it so charming to so many also makes it challenging to keep safe. We have odd lots and fencing conditions. We have a very open street grid with few cul de sacs or other natural or man made street planning devices designed to calm traffic and cut down the amount of regional traffic cutting through our residential streets. All this makes it extremely challenging to maintain defensible space characterized by neighborhoods in and outside of San Leandro with far lower rates of crime. The BNA, neighbors, and the police department all work tirelessly to keep our neighborhoods as safe as possible, but our efforts can be positively or negatively impacted by planning decisions. Good planning decisions are critical to our overall success in creating a safe environment and vibrant neighborhoods. (continued)
Leah Hall February 08, 2013 at 12:38 AM
While most homes in the Broadmoor have fence restrictions and set backs governed in part by the desire for visibility and safety, there are a few older homes which this is apparently not the case and 568 Warwick is one of the biggest outliers in this regard. The physical features of the lot make it feel more like a compound than a residential home. This perception is informed by the oversized lot, the front yard fencing, the tall and thick shrubbery which obscures most of what exists or occurs beyond it, and the backyard adjacency with a large parking lot which serves a Safeway and a bar, among other retailers. According to news reports last April, the current owner illegally exploited the vulnerability of this site and showed uncivil disregard for the well being of his neighbors and our public servants by breaking the law. This owner has not earned our city's trust in granting this request, and more importantly, I believe this incident demonstrates that variance and compliance laws and policies regarding diverse residential lots in the Broadmoor are vital to maintaining law, order, and safety of our citizens. I urge city planning decision makers to deny this request and to consider the implications in a broader sense. There are many good planning decisions yet to be made and resources needed to initiate and bring about the policies and improvements our neighborhood needs to thrive. Sincerely, Leah Hall Resident and Human Services Commissioner


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