NEWSTEAD, N.Y. (WIVB) - John Barron, 50, was arrested Wednesday and charged with a "C" felony of possession of marijuana and a misdemeanor for growing the illegal drug. Authorities say Barron is a suspected marijuana grower thought to have been in the drug game for more than 10 years.
Wednesday morning, Erie County Sheriff's deputies along with the DEA and Border Agents executed a search warrant at Barron's property on Rapids Road in Newstead.
"It was very out of the way. And upon executing the search warrant, inside the residence we found packaging materials, marijuana packaged up along with scales. So he's got quite the business considering the drought we've had this year," said Sr. Detective Alan Rozanski of what they found.
His property was further described as sophisticated, with an irrigation system going to the plants.
Deputies and border agents seized more than 300 plants, all of which were almost seven feet tall. The plants are worth close to $250,000 street value.
The plants will be stripped down and could weigh close to 200 pounds. All the confiscated material will be taken to a lab to be tested as part of an ongoing investigation before being destroyed.
This was the second pot growing operation that was seized this week in western New York. Over the weekend, three people in Genesee County were arrested for allegedly growing 32 plants.
Like many crops that are farmed, the marijuana season is in full harvest. Local and federal authorities plan to work together on many more of these joint busts and arrests in the future. "I hope that we're as successful in other areas with the drought that's been on. The drought didn't affect the productivity. So if this is the basis for what we have to come, we're optimistic," Rozansky said.
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