Authorities say Buchanan pot bust “significant”Published 10:42am Wednesday, December 23, 2009
A month-long investigation by area authorities came to an end Monday with the arrest of a Buchanan man, the discovery of a “significant” marijuana growing operation and another arrest that Sgt. Robert Boyce with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday is “forthcoming.”
Working off of information he said had been received by private citizens, law enforcement officers with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department’s Narcotics Unit, BCSD Road Patrol and the Buchanan City Police Department arrived at the home of Larry Granger, 51, 319 Lake St. in Buchanan at approximately 4:15 p.m. Monday.
Granger is facing charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and maintaining a drug house.
Boyce deferred discussing specific details of the investigation that led authorities to determine enough probably cause to investigate the home.
Upon executing the search warrant, law enforcement officials found Granger and a 57-year-old female at the home.
A “random search of the residence” was performed, leading police to seize approximately $250 worth of marijuana and other evidence of illegal narcotic trafficking.
Under the State of Michigan’s Civil Forfeiture Law, authorities also seized close to $3,000 in currency.
Granger was arrested and faces charges of possession with intent to deliver and maintaining a drug house, felonies that carry maximums of four and two years respectively. The 57-year-old woman was not arrested and faces no charges.
“We believe she was not involved in it,” Boyce said.
As a result of the search, Boyce said officers “obtained probable cause” to investigate the neighboring residence of 317 Lake St.
“As soon as we walked in, I guess you could say our noses led us right to it,” Boyce said.
A “significant” grow operation is what police found next door, locating and seizing 223 “live” marijuana plants and psilocybin mushrooms.
Citing statistics via the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, police valued the plants at worth an estimated $223,000, one mature marijuana plant worth approximately $1,000.
The mushrooms valued an estimated $400.
Compared to other grow operations that Boyce said officials have worked, he called the Buchanan bust bigger than some previous cases.
Though the resident of 317 Lake St., a 53-year-old lifelong Buchanan resident, was present when police discovered the grow operation inside, he has yet to be arrested.
Boyce said the arrest is coming but that tests are necessary on psilocybin mushrooms and law enforcement wanted “to be nice” and wait until lab results were received.
The fact that the suspect is a lifelong resident, Boyce said, seems to qualm any fears on behalf of law enforcement that he might flee the area.
The BCASD’s Narcotics Unit will seek criminal charges through the Berrien County Trial Courts on resident on charges of manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver, possession of psilocybin mushrooms and maintaining a drug house.
Granger’s next appearance in court will be Dec. 29.