Half a million in Marijuana seized from upscale home - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Half a million in Marijuana seized from upscale home

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – The most elaborate marijuana operation in Coffee County history was uncovered. investigators found a half million dollars worth of pot in a nearly half million dollar home. Investigators say it's the most sophisticated set-up they've ever seen.

Huge bulldozers dig up the yard of an upscale home in search of money.

"Oh God this is a nice house my wife would have a fit over a house like this," said Sheriff Jerry Pope.

Investigators dug up 35,000 dollars in this spot. Vacuum sealed and buried in a PVC pipe. What investigators say is someone's hidden drug money.

This 5,000 square foot home wasn't just somebody's home it was someone's elaborate and illegal business.

"They just had it for a marijuana grow house they didn't care anything about the house," said Sheriff Jerry Pope.

Coffee County Investigators got a tip that eventually led them to quite a find.

"This is without a doubt the most highly sophisticated marijuana grow operation we've ever seized," said Major Scott Harper.

This afternoon investigators uncovered 140 marijuana plants worth well over a half million dollars.

"The entire second story of this home was turned into a marijuana growing operation," said Harper.

But what's even more shocking...a family lived downstairs.

"I know that there was at least one child living here because of all the photos and that disturbed me very much, said Harper.

The wiring in the home was extensive, timers in most rooms, multiple heating and air units, and stolen electricity kept the growers in the clear for years.

"They were running the regular lights in the house off the meter and they were growing around the meter for indoor grow lights that way it doesn't send off signals to the meter reader," said Harper.

And if neighbors stopped by no one noticed.

Investigators say Nelfi Montenegro owned the home. He and his family are no where to be found.

In the last few days four indoor grow operations were taken down. Two in Jacksonville Florida and one on Ware county. Investigators believe they are all connected. All the suspects are of Cuban decent and they believe at least one person was very well trained in operating these grow houses.

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