I-TEAM EXCLUSIVE: Officials say major pot operation uncovered at San Rafael doctor's home

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- Neighbors in a quiet North Bay neighborhood are looking for answers after the Marin County Major Crimes Task Force raided a home and reportedly found a major marijuana operation. The ABC7 News I-Team has an exclusive look at what happened.

Sources tell the I-Team the call came to San Rafael police as a child in danger due to drug activity. Investigators found those plants growing in the backyard, and 17-pounds of packaged pot in a 7-year-old girl's playroom.

Loch Lomond is an exclusive neighborhood in San Rafael with million-dollar views and a yacht club. The people living there were stunned when the task force found a marijuana operation in the home's backyard, late Thursday night. Dan Noyes spoke with neighbors on Tuesday.

"Appalled," said neighbor Jeannette Bernhard. "Because we've never had a thing like that in this neighborhood. This is a family neighborhood. We don't have pot in the backyard."

Fellow neighbor Mary Schmidt added, "I thought it couldn't be in this neighborhood, I was really surprised."

The I-Team also caught up to the home's owner, 41-year-old John Prescott White.

Noyes: "John, I'd like to talk to you, I'm doing a story on the news at six."
White: "Huh? I have nothing to say."

Noyes: "I'm sorry?"
White: "I have nothing to say."

The I-Team obtained photos taken just before the raid of just a small section of the backyard. Sources tell us there were more than 100 plants.


The assistant commander on the task force, Sgt. Brian Fay, told us by phone that White was also manufacturing hash oil, a process that can be very dangerous.

"The process is very volatile," he said. "The chemicals that are used to heat, you can cause and have caused very serious fires and explosions in residential areas."

White is scheduled to be arraigned in two weeks on two felonies including cultivation of marijuana and processing of concentrated cannabis for sale.

Noyes: "So, tell me about the number of plants you had, John?"
White: "The lawyers told me not to talk to anybody."
Noyes:"Okay, who is your lawyer?"

White wouldn't say. He and his wife, Dr. Rebecca White, a Kaiser Permanente pediatrician, were also cited for misdemeanor willful cruelty to child. The District Attorney's Office is deciding whether to prosecute Dr. White.

Noyes left a message for her at the San Rafael hospital where she was seeing patients Tuesday, and did not hear back.

Their neighbors tell the I-Team they are glad this secret operation has been busted.

"I just worry about kids running into that," said Mary Joe McBride. "Who knows when they're selling it, to who and if you're coming to their house, what kind of people are coming into neighborhood, so that worries me."

On that point, the task force also arrested a man from Ohio who was apparently there to make a major buy.

White had a similar case in 2009, a grow operation in a Greenbrae house. He pleaded the felonies down to a misdemeanor, and was allowed to enter a diversion program.

The I-Team will keep track of this case and get back to you.

Click here for more stories by Dan Noyes and the I-Team.
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