Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Posting Marijuana Grow Op on YouTube a Gateway Video for One Man's Bigger 'Phish Phry' Crimes

Photo by jasonawhite via Flickr
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

The simple lesson in the case of Kenneth Lucas II of Los Angeles is don't post videos of your pot growing operation on YouTube. For many who make their moola off marijuana, growing is one part of their weed-focused set-up. Lucas, however, has just been sentenced to 13 years in prison because what this video ultimately unearthed was that his pot op was just his seed money for "an even bigger moneymaking scheme," according to CBS2.

The videos showed an "elaborate system that included fans, indoor lights and ventilation equipment" inside his Baldwin Hills home, where authorities ultimately discovered 100 plants in the fall of 2009, reports L.A. Now.

Lucas was using the money he made on marijuana to "fund an international 'phishing' scam that reportedly netted up to $1 million in cash."

As part of the scheme, Lucas was the cyber czar who presided over the U.S. empire of phony email requests getting suckers to send over their money via the internet. Investigators launched "Operation Phish Phry" (clever!) and "targeted hackers in Egypt that worked with U.S. accomplices to illegally access the accounts of those who responded to the requests."

Support for LAist comes from

Once nabbed, "Lucas pleaded guilty to 49 counts of bank & wire fraud," and was sentenced Friday.