By Madina Toure
Two Cambria Heights women have been charged with operating a pot farm on the second floor of their residence, using more than $64,000 worth of electricity stolen from Con Edison, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
The women, identified as Larraysha Conklin, 28, and Julene Mercano, 50, of 117-18 219th St., were charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of marijuana and theft of service.
They were awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court, Brown said. If convicted, they each face up to 15 years in prison.
“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,” Brown said. “It is alleged that in an effort to cut their overhead costs, the defendants stole tens of thousands of dollars in unmetered electricity from Con Edison.”
The estimated bill for unmetered service from May 31, 2013 through July 1 was about $64,792. Mercado’s electric bills represent only a fraction of the electricity used at the location, according to Brown.
Police from the 105th Precinct carried out a court-authorized search warrant at the women’s home at about 7:20 a.m. July 1, Brown said.
Once inside, they observed the two women in the living room of the residence, according to the complaint filed by Brown.
They then recovered multiple designer handbags, $10,000 in cash, multiple cell phones, mail bearing Mercano’s name and their address, bank statements bearing Conklin’s name and their address and a chemical storage tank bearing the name of Lawrence Conklin, the complaint said.
From the main floor, police found multiple designer handbags, $397 in cash and credit cards bearing the name Lawrence Conklin from the bedroom which Conklin identified as her own, the complaint continued.
In a separate bedroom on the main floor, police recovered multiple laptops and cell phones and from the living room, they recovered an Apple watch and an Apple laptop, the complaint said.
The police also recovered 20 roughly 5-foot-high marijuana plants from the west room on the second floor and 21 marijuana plants from the east room, the complaint said. In both rooms, they found multiple 1,000 watt lights, power fans, air conditioning units, dehumidifiers and carbon dioxide generators.
From the common area on the second floor, they recovered a Home Depot tub containing marijuana from a closet as well as multiple chemicals used for plant growth, the complaint said.
Police found multiple transformers and a Con Ed representative saw multiple lines being used to manipulate the service boxes to the location, Brown said.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour