PD: Marijuana growing operation discovered during Belchertown fi - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

PD: Marijuana growing operation discovered during Belchertown fire

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

An arrest warrant has been issued after a fire led to the discovery of an alleged marijuana growing operation.

Shortly before 7 p.m. Monday, emergency crews were called to a fire at 39 Depot Street.

Belchertown Police Det. John Raymer noted that "During firefighting operations, responders discovered approximately 60 marijuana plants in various stages of growth and various unknown powders and chemicals contained in boxes on the second floor."

Raymer added that when the 911 call came in, the second floor resident told the first floor resident of the fire and then reportedly fled the scene in a Honda van before emergency personnel arrived.

A regional hazardous materials team was in to scene and the home was secured by officers while awaiting a search warrant to be issued.

Just after midnight Tuesday, members of the Northwestern District Attorney's Anti-Crime Task Force and hazmat team executed that search warrant.  

"The search ultimately revealed 34 plants in various stages of growth as well as 3 evidence bags of marijuana. 41 vials of a homemade marijuana concentrate was also located as well as other evidence pertinent to the case," Raymer explained.

Police have now applied for an arrest warrant for the male resident who fled the scene.  That warrant is charging that person with cultivation of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and manufacturing marijuana concentrate by liquid or gas.

Raymer said that the investigation is being handled by the state fire marshal's office and that other charges may be pending.

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