Drug agents say Albany grow house not a laughing matter - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Drug agents say Albany grow house not a laughing matter

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Drug agents say a marijuana grow house busted in Albany Thursday night was put together with professionally-designed equipment specifically to hide pot growing operations.

They say there could be more grow houses like it operating in South Georgia.

This marijuana grow house was discovered because two gunmen broke into the apartment on Katy Court in a home invasion robbery. Drug agents say grow houses attract violent crime.

This sign was in Tommy Bryant's car outside the grow house on Katy Court. It says "need money for weed, please help." Obviously a joke, but drug agents say the hidden drug operations are not a laughing matter.

Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Commander Major Bill Berry said "That leads to other violent crime."

Bryant called Police to the home to report a home invasion robbery about 5:15, saying two men forced their way in with guns, stealing money and a TV. Cops noticed marijuana on the table, and called in Drug Agents. In the attic they found a six foot wide tent with an air conditioner and professional air filtering and piping system. Inside 6 marijuana plants and grow lights.

Berry said "It's an elaborate setup. It's not a real large one. This is obviously more than personal consumption, but it is an elaborate set up. Everything is quality. It was set up professionally."

Drug agents say it appears the equipment was professionally designed and manufactured to hide a grow operation. They say these are advertised for sale in magazines or the Internet.

 Berry said "The way things were set, it was well hidden and able to mask the odor, usually produced by an indoor grow. And this was not something just thrown together. So even down to the names and the brands of marijuana they were growing."

23 year old Tommy Bryant and 20 year old Hillary Jones were arrested in the home and charged with manufacturing marijuana. The plants were estimated to be worth about one thousand dollars on the streets. Drug agents say they think the grow house has been operating for 3 to 6 months, and was only found when the grower himself called Police into the home.

Drug agents say these indoor marijuana grow operations can also be a health hazard, with the fertilizers, nutrients, and spores from the plants all being vented into the air in that neighborhood, that has dozens of closely bunched homes.

Bryant remains in the Dougherty County jail.  Jones was released on bond.

Albany Police are investigating the home invasion robbery but have made no arrests.

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