Two women are accused of turning their Cambria Heights home into a pot farm and stealing more than $64,000 worth of electricity from Con Edison to help run their operation, prosecutors said.
Larraysha Conklin, 28, and Julene Mercano, 50, are charged with second-degree grand larceny, first-degree criminal possession of marijuana and theft of service, according to the district attorney’s office.
“The defendants are accused of having transformed the second floor of their residence into a virtual pot farm, which required high wattage lights and constant air-conditioning in order for the plants to grow. It is alleged that in an effort to cut their overhead costs, the defendant stole tens of thousands of dollars in unmetered electricity from Con Edison,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement Thursday.
Police from the 105th Precinct uncovered the marijuana after executing a search warrant on the women’s 219th Street home Wednesday morning.
Before finding the pot, authorities recovered multiple designer handbags, $397 in cash, credit cards bearing Conklin’s name from her bedroom, multiple laptops and cellular phones, and from the living room an Apple watch and an Apple laptop.
On the second floor, police allegedly found 41 marijuana plants in two separate rooms and growing equipment that included multiple 1,000-watt lights, power fans, air-conditioning units, dehumidifiers and carbon dioxide generators.
Police additionally allegedly recovered on the second floor a small tub containing marijuana from a freezer and another small container of marijuana from a closet, as well as chemicals used for plant growth.
Finally, according to prosecutors, it was uncovered that multiple Con Edison lines were being used to manipulate the service boxes to the home. The estimated bill for unmetered service at the residence between May 31, 2013, through July 1, 2015, was approximately $64,792, but Mercado’s electric bills were only a fraction of the amount of electricity being used at the location, prosecutors said.
If convicted, each woman faces up to 15 years in prison.