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Deputies Bust Major Marijuana Operation in Goleta

Raid on Thornwood Drive complex nets $1 million in plants.


Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies seized almost $1 million in marijuana in Goleta last week and arrested Paul Fischer, 57, on drug-related charges.

The deputies and a gang unit searched Industrial Digital Services, located in the 5700 block of Thornwood Drive, to find what they called “arguably the most sophisticated indoor grow ever seen in the country.” Detectives found more than 360 plants and five employees processing the marijuana, 60 pounds of which had already been prepared.

According to paperwork found during the search, the suspects were selling the drug at $4,100 per pound, which would have netted a total of about $738,000 had all the plants been processed and sold.

Detectives arrested Fischer, owner of Digital Industrial Services, who rented the property where the operation was located. Paperwork revealed that Fischer was making $80,000 per month from the enterprise. They also found $60,000 in Fischer’s vehicle and at the site. According to the Sheriff’s Department, there was no evidence the plants were being grown for medicinal purposes.


Upon further investigation, detectives found that Fischer owned a second operation in San Rafael, north of San Francisco, which eventually led to another search and discovery of a similar site with more than 300 plants.

Fischer was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana and conspiracy to commit a crime. He is being held in the Santa Barbara County Jail on $100,000 bail. The Thornwood Drive employees are awaiting charges.

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