Columbia police have charged a man after narcotics investigators located over $160,000 worth of marijuana plants at a homemade grow house Tuesday.
Police Chief Skip Holbrook said officers executed a lawful search at a home located in the 1400 block of Caroline Road near Leesburg Road and discovered the grow operation.
Holbrook said investigators seized more than 45 plants, ten of which were mature, while others were in various stages of growth. According to narcotics analysts, the plants were capable of producing one pound of marijuana, fetching approximately $3,500. In this case, the plants have an estimated value of more than $164,000.
Officers also discovered that at least two bedrooms were set up with equipment used to grow marijuana indoors including lights, fertilizer and insulation materials. A shotgun and a handgun were also seized from the home, Holbrook said.
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As a result, Justin Andrew Helps, 32, was charged with manufacturing marijuana in connection with the investigation.
Helps was transported to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center where he will be held pending a bond hearing.