Kevin Pedrez (Provided by Pueblo County Sheriff's Office)

Man arrested in Pueblo suspected of illegal marijuana grow

Pueblo County authorities on Tuesday arrested a 26-year-old man after deputies say they discovered nearly 50 marijuana plants illegally growing in his basement and garage.

Kevin Pedrez is suspected of illegal pot cultivation following a search warrant execution at his Pueblo West home on the 500 block of Saunders Drive.

“Deputies also found evidence to indicate Pedrez was selling marijuana to others,” the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The search warrant was issued after a citizen contacted investigators with concerns over a possible illegal marijuana grow at the home, authorities say. The person said the house had large ventilation ports and extensive wiring, along with a strong odor of marijuana, according to the sheriff’s office.

“Deputies went to the home on Tuesday and contacted Pedrez, who admitted he was growing marijuana for his own medicinal purposes,” the release said. “Pedrez said he had a medical marijuana license but it had expired (in May 2015).”

Deputies say in addition to the growing marijuana plants, they also found 25 dried stalk from recently cultivated plants in Pedrez’s garage.

The suspected bust is the 18th in Pueblo County over the past two months. The sheriff’s office has seized nearly 5,200 marijuana plants and made 26 arrests.

The raids also come among a string of similar police operations in southern Colorado and across the state over the past several months and as federal and local authorities clamp down on marijuana being illegally grown in homes.

RELATED: More illicit pot being grown in Colorado homes, shipped out of state

Colorado law allows people 21 and older to grow up to six plants — three or fewer of which can be mature, flowering plants — provided it’s done in an “enclosed, locked space.”

Some cities have limited the number of plants that can be grown in a single house, and some cities have imposed other zoning or code restrictions on home-growing. Denver has a cap of 12 plants.

Jesse Paul: 303-954-1733, or @JesseAPaul

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