Updated 11/07/2011 07:37 PM
Marijuana growing operation busted in Watervliet
A marijuana growing operation is busted up in Watervliet where police seized thousands of dollars worth of marijuana plants. Our Lori Chung has more on how police found out about the operation.
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WATERVLIET, N.Y. -- Working from an anonymous tip, police made a discovery inside a home in Watervliet that left neighbors stunned.
"This was the least likely candidate. It’s shocking to me" said neighbor Kerri Potter.
Officials say Shawn Patrick, 33, was running a marijuana growing operation. Patrick was arrested after a search warrant turned up a room full of plants and drying equipment. The smell of marijuana was evident as soon as officers walked up to the door. Robert Gloditch, 32, was also arrested. Police say he was at the home helping with the operation when Albany County Sheriff's investigators made their approach.
"They've got a black tent with the lights and ventilation and everything set up, mimicking daylight," said Acting Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.
Police say the suspect actually rented the entire house, living on the second floor while running the operation out of the first floor. Investigators say he may have been operating there for awhile.
"We don’t believe anyone’s lived down here for at least five or six years," said Apple.
But neighbors we spoke to never noticed anything suspicious. They also speak highly of Patrick, who officials say lives here with his two young daughters.
"If I couldn’t smell it, I don’t know how anyone else could," said Vicky Potter. “He’s a great dad, great neighbor."
"He shovels my aunt’s spot for the winter, mows our lawn, he’s really a good guy," said Kerri Potter.
The plants alone estimated to be worth up to $30,000. The investigation into the operation is continuing with social services now being called in to decide what will be done with Patrick's children.