The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Culpeper chief calls pot raid town’s biggest ever
BY DONNIE JOHNSTON
One man was arrested this week in what the police chief calls the biggest marijuana-growing raid in Culpeper history.
The Culpeper street crimes unit, composed of town police and Culpeper County Sheriff’s deputies, raided a home on the 300 block of Wayland Road Wednesday and found about $300,000 worth of marijuana and an elaborate growing operation in the home’s basement, police said.
“The basement was sectioned off with three indoor grow tents and two rooms contained hydroponics equipment,” said Lt. Tim Chilton. “Over 100 mature plants were found, as well as approximately 20 pounds of dried marijuana.”
James P. Berry, 47, was charged with felony possession with intent to distribute more than 5 pounds of marijuana and manufacturing marijuana not for personal use.
Acting on a tip, officers approaching the house smelled what they said was a strong marijuana odor. After obtaining a search warrant, they returned and found that the basement windows and doors had been barricaded.
The officers then discovered a trap door leading from the main floor to the lower level, where they said they found the growing operation. Police said two rooms on the main floor were used to dry the harvest.
In addition to the marijuana, police seized a generator, a wide-screen TV and about $1,500 in cash, according to town public information officer Wally Bunker.
“This is the largest marijuana grow operation we have had in Culpeper,” said town police Chief Chris Jenkins. “This operation shows the value of the joint Street Crimes Unit and how it can effectively fight crime.”