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Macomb Township

August 19, 2013

Task force seizes 525 pot plants from Macomb residence

By Jeremy Selweski
C & G Staff Writer

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A home with more than 500 marijuana plants growing on the property was raided by police last week, and one suspect was detained in connection to the crime.

According to Lt. Michael Shaw of the Michigan State Police, on Aug. 15, the County of Macomb Enforcement Team (COMET), a multi-jurisdictional task force organized in conjunction with U.S. Customs personnel, executed a search warrant at a residence in Macomb Township. The property contained an enclosed outdoor marijuana grow operation, Shaw said, which resulted in the seizure of 525 marijuana plants.

The suspect claimed to only be growing the plants as a “hobby.” However, a secondary search warrant was later executed at the suspect’s business in Detroit, where COMET was able to seize documents indicating that the suspect has been involved with marijuana production since at least 2008. In addition, three associated bank accounts were identified for civil forfeiture by police.

The investigation is still ongoing, Shaw said, but COMET is expected to submit a report to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office soon. Shaw could not provide any additional information on the raid or the suspect, adding that it would likely be “a little while” before anyone is arraigned in the case.

“That’s all the information they gave me, so you know just as much as I do at this point,” the lieutenant said. “More details on this case will come out later, I’m sure.”

Shaw could not specify how police were tipped off to the suspect’s marijuana grow operation, but he noted that drug cases like this are typically discovered as a result of one of two scenarios.

“It could be that a neighbor turned him in — that’s what happens in most of the narcotics busts that we do,” he said. “Marijuana is pretty odorous, so I would imagine that with that many plants growing on (the suspect’s) property, someone must have smelled it at some point.”

Another possibility, Shaw said, is that COMET conducted a helicopter fly-by and noticed some suspicious plants growing on the suspect’s land. “It’s amazing how easily those plants stand out from everything else when you’re in the air,” he explained. “It’s pretty obvious when something fishy is going on.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Jeremy Selweski at jSelweski@candgnews.com or at (586)218-5004.