ALAMEDA -- A 32-year-old man was arrested Thursday in connection with a string of sophisticated marijuana grow houses in Tracy, police said.

Loc Nguyen was arrested by officers from Tracy and Alameda at a home on the 1800 block of Chestnut Street, according to police.

Authorities identified 15 residential homes in Tracy that had been gutted and wired to grow hundreds of marijuana plants indoors. One home bypassed utility meters to avoid paying more than $60,000 in electrical costs over several months, according to Tracy police Sgt. Alex Neicu.

Nguyen has been tied to four of the homes, police said.

He was booked into San Joaquin County Jail on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and theft of utilities, both felonies, according to police. Nguyen, a Vietnamese citizen, was placed on a no-bail U.S. Border Patrol hold.

David DeBolt covers breaking news. Contact him in Richmond at 510-262-2728. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt.



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