Waterloo Township's chief of police Tom Cottrell has seen some high-tech marijuana growing operations during his 25 years in law enforcement, but he says this one is by far the largest and most high tech.
"Because we're a rural area most of the pot plants we deal with are grown right in the wild... so we have a lot of farmers so to speak growing their pot in the wild, but this guy had a year round growing operation going right in the house," said Cottrell.
Chief Cottrell became suspicious about a week and a half ago when the renter of the home would not allow fire crews to assess damages, following a porch fire.
"I noticed condensation on the inside of the windows, on the front of the house, which peaked my curiosity," said Cottrell.
After obtaining a search warrant Cottrell and a special reaction team from Jackson County surrounded the home, entered and found grow lights, an irrigation system and plastic on the walls in three rooms. Police found 36 live marijuana pants on site and supplies to grow even more.
One man was arrested, and the plants were removed from the home. Gary Baldwin has helped the chief clean up other growing operations, but he says this one was far more expensive than usual,
"These plants are a lot larger.... usually they're in the starting base... 4 to 6 inches tall... usually in bath tubs... back little nooks of the houses. but this one occupied three bedroom," said Baldwin.
The chief's message...growers will get caught.