NEW ORLEANS, LA (WDSU) — A call from a concerned 7th Ward resident led New Orleans police to discover a "booming drug business" in a man's apartment, New Orleans police said.
Police said they seized $50,000 worth of marijuana at the apartment in the 1700 block of Lapeyrouse Street about 10:45 p.m. Saturday.
When officers arrived in the neighborhood, they said they picked up the scent of burning marijuana and saw 45-year-old Troy Ray stick his head out of a second-floor window and ask the officers why they were there.
After police explained why they were there, they said they heard dogs barking and what sounded like someone scurrying about inside the home.
Police said Ray tried to make an escape through the back of the building and dropped a backpack in the process, which police seized when apprehending Ray. Inside the bag, police discovered two brown bags and a container stuffed with marijuana and $512 in cash.
A search of the building revealed that Ray was running a “grow operation," police said. One bedroom had 165 marijuana plants that were growing under heat lamps along with drug paraphernalia and more containers of marijuana, police said.
Officers said they also found a bag of psilocybin (mushrooms) and a digital scale. The total weight of marijuana plants and bags and containers of marijuana was about 45 pounds, which police said has a street value of about $50,000.
Ray was arrested and booked with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of psilocybin and possession of drug paraphernalia.
New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas said the discovery and arrest was possible due to a concerned citizen notifying police.
“The size of this suspect’s operation indicates that he was possibly making a career out of selling illegal drugs," Serpas said. "Because his 'clients' won’t be coming to this area anymore, this 7th Ward neighborhood is now a safer place.”