Nearly 400 marijuana plants found in illegal grow house in Spanaway

An illegal marijuana grow house was busted in Spanaway after officials noticed the home was using nearly 15 times the amount of power as the average house.

Pierce County sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant Tuesday at the home in the 4100 block of 243rd Street Court East.

The 56-year-old woman who lived there barricaded herself in a bedroom when law enforcement officers came inside.

When they broke down the bedroom door, the woman allegedly dropped to the floor and covered and her head and repeatedly said, “No, no, no,” according to charging papers.

Deputies seized 396 marijuana plants from the home and 156 starter plants without roots, records say.

The entire house and garage had been converted into a grow operation with the exception of a single bedroom and bathroom. Security cameras were set up throughout the property.

The woman’s electricity bill showed she was using more than 13,000 kilowatt-hours each month.

The average residential utility customers in the United States uses 867 kilowatt-hours per month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

On Wednesday, the woman pleaded not guilty to unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance. She was released on her own recognizance after the arraignment.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.