LACKAWANNA, N.Y. — Police in Lackawanna say pot plants valued at around $60,000 came from a single grow house.
"As soon as you went in there, you could smell a very, very, very strong odor of marijuana coming from the residence,” said Captain Joseph Leo of the Lackawanna Police Department.
Police say they've been watching a Victory Avenue home for several months now, and finally, Wednesday night, narcotics agents were able to raid the home and arrest 38-year-old Michael Shealy.
"He had several locations within the basement cordoned off with lighting systems and foil and heating ducts and air ventilation and water setups," said Leo.
"One crop would be ready to be picked and he would go to another section of the basement and he'd have newer crops and he would rotate his crops throughout, around, the basement and like I says, he wouldn't run out of marijuana too often and he had really high grade marijuana that he was selling out of his residence there,” Leo continued.
In all, police say they confiscated 120 pot plants, scales, packaging equipment, steroids, 78 hydrocodone pills and even a bullet proof vest from Shealy's home and car.
What's really shocking to people living in this neighborhood – especially the parents – Shealy was operating his grow house directly across the street from a playground.
"We never assumed that would happen in this neighborhood. Yeah, it's shocking,” said Abdo Alfagih.
Police say they suspect Shealy is no stranger to the marijuana trade.
"He's been growing marijuana for quite some time. Like I says, the investigation we had on him was six months, but the Hamburg Police Department had information on him that he and other people are involved in selling marijuana for quite some time now."
Shealy is being held at the Erie County Holding Center on $30,000 cash bail.