Southern Tier authorities thwarted a sophisticated marijuana-growing operation Wednesday after an early morning raid in the Village of Mayville resulted in two arrests and the recovery of $250,000 worth of marijuana.
The raid at 7:15 a.m. occurred at 7145 Plank Road, according to Chautauqua County Undersheriff Charles J. Holder, and was conducted by members of the Sheriff’s Office SWAT team and the Southern Tier Regional Task Force.
Arrested at the scene were Jerry J. Erhard, 44, and Jenell L. Long, 37, both listed as residents of that address, according to authorities.
Holder said children were present in the residence at the time of the raid.
Erhard and Long were each charged with second-degree marijuana possession, unlawfully growing marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, use of drug paraphernalia and unlawfully dealing with a child.
Additional charges may be placed, said Holder, who described the scene as a “large operation with sophisticated lighting and watering systems that forced a quicker growing cycle for the plants.”
The system used to grow the marijuana was operated with timed light and irrigation, as well as a pulley system to allow the lights to move over the plants, Holder said.
In addition to 256 marijuana plants, police recovered other marijuana processed for sale, three long guns, a large amount of cash and a quantity of suspected controlled substances.
The raid was conducted with a search warrant signed by County Judge Stephen W. Cass.
Both suspects have been released pending further charges.