IN police uncover large marijuana operation, seize 350 pot plants
Franklin, IN (WXIN) — Franklin police found a large marijuana-growing operation and a large stash of pot. Now they need help figuring out who's behind it.
While patrolling on the night of Feb. 22, Franklin police caught a strange scent coming from a commercial building at Hurricane Road and Eastview Drive. Officers thought it smelled like marijuana. They got a search warrant and went inside the building on 200 Eastview Dr.
Inside, police found a large marijuana operation. They seized more than 350 plants and a large amount of processed pot. A member of the Indiana State Police Marijuana Eradication unit helped dismantle the operation, which included grow lights, sump pumps and electric irrigation systems.
"I've been in law enforcement since '87," said Franklin Police Chief Tim O'Sullivan. "I've been with this department 17 years, and I've not seen one this big."
"To have it be in the location it was in was pretty concerning," said Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness.
The location is right up next to a very busy intersection, across the street from a busy industrial park. Hundreds of cars would have driven right by the building every day.
"Our units drive by there countless times through the day and we never noticed it before," O'Sullivan said.
Nobody else seemed to notice it either, although some people who live and work nearby did see some things to make them curious about the old brick building.
"I've always wondered what they were doing over there, because there would be lights on early in the morning and late at night," said Curtis Williams, who works at a manufacturing plant adjacent to the building. "I live just down the street, so when I'd drive by, I'd see lights on and usually one vehicle, but never thought anything about it."
Police don't think the owner of the property knew about the illegal activity, but they're looking for the man who's been renting the building since October 2012.