Large marijuana grow operation found in suburban backyard; huge weapons cache inside
POSTED: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 1:30pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 1:34pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — About $50,000 in marijuana plants and a cache of firearms were found in a home in Gambrills, Maryland on Friday.
Anne Arundel police found 46 marijuana plants in the back yard of 53-year-old Charles Vincent Dominick's home after obtaining a search warrant for drug manufacturing at his residence.
The plants were each five to six feet tall.
"Citizens came forward with some possible concerns about drug activity taking place at this residence -- particularly a marijuana grow operation -- and it’s really what began this operation," said Justin Mulcahy of Anne Arundel County police.
Dominick claims the marijuana was for medicinal purposes.
Detectives found 11 handguns, five shotguns, eight rifles -- including an assault rifle -- and boxes of ammunition.
Ten of the 24 guns were legally registered.
The ATF is following up on the rest.
"We don’t have any information Mr. Dominick intended to use the weapons to defend his grow house, but that’s a lot of weapons to have in a house with that much marijuana," Anne Arundel County police Capt. Randy Jones said.
Officers also recovered a book about growing marijuana and a container of marijuana seeds.
Dominick was charged on nine counts, including possession of marijuana, intent to distribute and manufacturing.
The home is in a school zone, which could increase the penalties.
"We don't believe that any of these drugs were being sold to any of the students at the school, but any time you have a crime being committed in that close proximity to one of our schools it’s a concern for us, and we have coordinated and passed the information along to our school safety partners with the school," Jones said.