Cops break up pot grow across from precinct

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

The Detroit Police Department reported a successful pot bust on Monday from a grow site across the street from a police precinct.

"Right across the street from the 11th precinct, someone thought they could harvest marijuana," Detroit Police Chief James Craig said of the event, in remarks published on Facebook. "When you talk about good police work, this is good police work."

The smell of marijuana had been noticeable a day earlier, on Sunday, to officers working at the 11th precinct, at 5100 Nevada. That's just north of the Detroit Detention Center, which is at Nevada and Mound, on Detroit's east side.

Detroit police squad car

Eventually, the odor became too strong to ignore, and investigators began literally sniffing around, looking for the source. Their noses led them to a seemingly defunct liquor store across the street on Nevada from the 11th precinct.

Investigators then asked for and received a search warrant.

"Once they got in," Craig said, "what they found was significant."

Officers seized 46 plants, with some 12,742 grams of marijuana between them. Craig cited the street value of the drugs as being $127,420, which comes out to $10 per gram.

"To get it right across the street, on the eve of Halloween, is pretty big," Craig said. 

Corporal John Siejutt said "a couple of individuals" were arrested, but gave no further details on their identity. Siejutt said that plants "the size of a small evergreen tree," reaching heights of seven feet tall, were in the building.

Craig said there was also "very sophisticated equipment" inside, but indicated that "it wasn't working very good because we shouldn't have been able to smell (the pot from that distance)."

"It's pretty bold and brazen," Siejutt said of the grow operation, "but if you think about it, you've got the best security, being across the street from a police station. Who's going to (commit breaking-and-entering at) your building?"