Chief James McIntyre
47 Central Street
Stoneham, MA 02180-2044
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Stoneham Police Find Marijuana Growing Operation Found After House Fire
Person of Interest Sought after $2 Million Marijuana Seizure
STONEHAM — Stoneham Police are seeking a 35-year-old man as a person of interest after detectives and federal agents removed approximately 480 marijuana plants found growing in a house that caught fire early Wednesday morning.
Based on police calculations, police seized plants that, through their lifespan, could produce upwards of 960 pounds of marijuana buds, with an approximate street value of $2 million.
“This was a major, sophisticated drug producing operation that has been shut down today,” Chief James McIntyre said. “Drugs are a major problem in society, and we will continue to aggressively pursue producers and distributors.”
Early this morning, at 6:58 a.m., a United States Postal Service letter carrier, on his way to work, noticed smoke coming from the second floor of 10 Hersam St.
Upon arrival, firefighters quickly located and knocked down the fire. One firefighter sustained minor injuries and was treated and released from an area hospital.
After the fire was extinguished, crews observed what appeared to be marijuana plants throughout the apartment. Stoneham Police detectives were called to the scene and determined that there was a sizable marijuana growing operation taking place in the apartment. As a result, the Stoneham Police Department called in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Clandestine Lab Team to aid in the investigation.
After obtaining search warrants to enter and search the home, police spent hours bringing boxes of evidence out of the home.
Investigators are still working to determine a cause and origin of the fire.
The person of interest, who is believed to be the resident of the second floor, is being sought for questioning. His name is not being released at this time.
The incident is currently under investigation by the Stoneham Police department, the Stoneham Fire Investigation Unit, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration Clandestine Lab Team.