Third marijuana grow operation busted in Georgia in two weeks

Image 1 of 6

Hundreds of marijuana plants were found growing inside a warehouse in Avondale Estates. Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents raided the building Tuesday. It was the third major grow operation busted in Georgia in two weeks.

Inside the building on Washington Street in Avondale Estates, agents found 400 pot plants. There was also a room dedicated to drying the plants and an industrial-sized grinder. Agents called it a very sophisticated operation.

"It had a lighting and watering system, an air filtration system that helped diminish the smell," said GBI Agent Bahan Rich.

Willa Higdon's family owns a building nearby. She was surprised to learn what was happening.

"They knew what they were doing and knew how to hide it," said Higdon.

Linda Starnes owns Twisted Hair Studio just around the corner. Starnes every now and then she could smell something funny.

"I just always assumed somebody was smoking some pot back there, I didn't think someone was growing it," said Starnes.

The GBI said this is the third large grow operation they uncovered in two weeks. Monday, agents seized more than 500 plants with a street value of half a million bucks in Franklin County. They found the week at an abandoned dairy farm with a set up that had a water and light system that moved on tracks.

Ten days earlier, agents found 500 plants and more than 100 pounds of packaged pot in Heard County. Agents said there was an entire house dedicated to the operation.

Agents don't believe the three grow operations are connected, but they do believe the pot that's growing here in Georgia was meant to be sold here in Georgia.

"I would speculate it will be here because of transportation costs and you have other states where it is legal, so I can imagine it would be distributed here in Georgia," said Agent Rich.