Federal agents, with help from Alameda County Sheriffs Deputies, smashed into what was apparently a pot farm on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland today as employees form a nearby bakery watched.
The big question the employees had was what took the Drug Enforcement Agency so long to conduct the raid.
"Every day I go to lunch and I smell, like, skunk or something, but I knew what it was — because it smells like marijuana," said Patty Garcia, who works at Neldam's Danish Bakery, 3401 Telegraph Ave., across the street from the alleged pot farm.
"I had the suspicion for the longest time, a couple years, but I had also heard there was an investigation going on that whole time," Garcia, of Oakland, said. All their windows and doors were completely closed up all the time," she said.
"I heard that at night time, there was always a lot of activity over there. When I got to work at 10 today I could smell the smell again, and all these guys in black T-shirts that said DEA, and I knew what happened. They had all this equipment on the ground they were loading it into this truck. They were there as early as 5 a.m., I heard."
There have been no arrests so far, the DEA said.
The DEA offered little detail. However, Garcia said, " They had raids in San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland. It's supposed to be the biggest drug bust in California," she said.
In Oakland, the raid was intense. "They broke the door down; there's glass everywhere," Garcia said. "The ground is covered with digitized medical records.
The building used to be occupied by a medical records office, Neldam's employees said.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Javier Pena statement that documents regarding the raids remain under court seal.
"Search warrants were conducted a several locations throughout the Bay Area and Northern California and items of evidentiary value were seized from these locations," Pena said.
Another DEA agent said the raids were aimed at major distributors in the upper echelons of the marijuana trade.
High grade marijuana has become increasingly popular. An ounce of good quality marijuana can sell for $400 or $500 on the street, experts say.