1,156 pot plants were just about to flower in Puyallup. Then the cops showed up

It was the smell that gave him away.

When officers from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board busted the illegal marijuana grow operation Friday, neighbors had been smelling it for months.

Officers seized 1,156 plants at the converted home in the 10700 block of Rampart Drive East in Puyallup.

The sole occupant, a California man, was arrested. Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies assisted in the bust.

Also seized: grow lights, ballasts, fans and other growing equipment.

The house and detached garage had been modified with illegal electrical wiring. It was an indication, the cannabis board said, that the residence was being used solely for the illegal production of marijuana.

The location was not licensed by the cannabis board as a marijuana producer or registered as a medical cooperative.

Cannabis board officers will recommend charges against the man and the home owner for the illegal manufacture and possession of a controlled substance.

"A Department of Ecology Hazmat team responded to the scene and took possession of fertilizers and pesticides, including Avid — a pesticide not legal for use on marijuana," the cannabis board said in a statement.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor