According to the Palo Alto Online
, Palo Alto police made the discovery when investigating the iPad theft. As law enforcement conducted the theft investigation, detectives followed a trail that led to an apartment in San Jose.
San Jose Mercury News
reported police, in search of a stolen iPad, had tracked the gadget using GPS to the San Jose location, said Assistant District Attorney David Tomkins.
However, since there was not a search warrant obtained, police reportedly knocked on the door and asked to come in, and the residents of the dwelling consented to their entering.
"They probably thought if they didn't, we'd suspect something," Tomkins said. "Or they thought, 'I'll let them in -- they probably won't find anything.'"
During the examination, they not only found the stolen iPad, but uncovered 780 pounds of crystal meth, which is said to have a $34 million street value.
San Jose Police and the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office were called in for assistance, which in turn called in the DEA San Jose Resident Office, reported Palo Alto Online. A state search warrant was obtained for the apartment and investigators believe the residence to be a methamphetamine conversion laboratory.
As officials searched the apartment, a massive quantity of meth was uncovered, and investigators say the methamphetamine was being converted to a crystal ("ice") form; Tomkins said it was "mostly a finished product."
Chemists from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration packaged everything up and brought it to a lab for analysis.
DEA spokesperson Special Agent Casey Rettig told media this investigation is still in the preliminary stages. "A seizure of this magnitude is extremely rare," Rettig said.
Three unidentified individuals have been arrested as a result of this finding, but the investigation is ongoing, officials say. More arrests may be forthcoming.
Several media reports say this meth bust is one of the largest in U.S. history. In 2010 a different California meth bust
led to seizure of hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine. At that time, this was believed to be the largest seizure to date in the U.S., according to a California official.
About this past week's bust, it "is one of the largest we are aware of," DEA Special Agent Casey Rettig said, SFGate reported
This massive meth seizure comes on the heels of another historical seizure
that occurred in Mexico last month, where Mexican authorities seized 15 tons of powder meth.