Major pot operation undone by chicken wire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Major pot operation undone by chicken wire

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –   Raymond Fajardo is in the Dougherty County Jail without bond, charged with manufacturing marijuana, trafficking marijuana, and possession and use of drug related materials.

The investigation into him started with a simple code violation and neighbors complaints about a fence. Code enforcement condemned the Albany home where local and federal drug agents found the grow operation Wednesday night.

Drug agents found 89 marijuana plants, dozens of gallon sized bags like this one full of dried, process marijuana. Drug agents say the heat from this operation has even discolored the roof of the home.

Drug agents worked overnight to fill trailers full of grow lights and insulted pipe pulled from the home on Forest Ridge.

Major Bill Berry says every room was used for the operation but one. "The dining room area is where the drying of the plants were being done they were hanging from strings draped across the dining room."

The hallway is clustered with pots of soil and mixture growing. Hoses and tubing turned the bathroom, into an irrigation system. "The bedrooms have another room built inside them lined with insulation to help protect from us detecting the heat or people seeing the light."

A sophisticated filtration system kept the smell from nearby neighbors, but it was Raymond Fajardo's actions that caught their attention and got city officials involved.

Code enforcement hauled him into court over this chicken wire fencing. "He took down some of the fencing that was not appropriate and not allowable, but we weren't done because we still had the chicken wire which we saw as a nuisance to the neighborhood," said Mike Tilson, Code Enforcement Director.

Neighbors called police last month when his dogs got loose. "He would get out there at night and train them like you would train attack dogs, by throwing an object and making them go attack it, and he was also seen out there a couple of times with arm protection with padded sleeves on making the dog actually attack him," said Larry McLeod.

With a park where kids like three year old Desmond play in sight, nearby neighbors are glad drug agents caught the operation. "Anytime you can get drugs off the street it's a good thing," Hilda Tinson said.

Today agents seized guns from storage shed 551 at Air Safe Self Storage on Gillionville Road, and more filters and supplies from another in Lee County. So far they believe Fajardo was the only one involved in the operation.

Agents don't think Farjardo was selling his supply here in Albany, but taking it out of town. Neighbors tonight tell me they're simply glad to be rid of this element in their neighborhood.

Authorities aren't sure what will be done with the home. The levels of mold and mildew and THC in the house will determine whether it be cleaned up or will have to be demolished.


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