NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 27, 2012

Police: Abandoned fish plant used for marijuana production

SALISBURY — A Seabrook man awaits prosecution for cultivating marijuana plants in what was supposed to be a vacant Salisbury building, after police seized several large plants from his van Thursday night.

Jeffrey Snyder, 40, of 28 Farm Lane, Seabrook, was arrested about 6:30 Thursday night, following Salisbury Police Department surveillance of a Rabbit Road establishment that formerly housed a seafood processing business. He was charged with intent to distribute class D drugs (marijuana) and possession of more than an ounce of marijuana.

Arraigned on Friday, Snyder was ordered held on $500 bail by Judge Peter Doyle. His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 31.

According to Salisbury police Chief Thomas Fowler, after receiving a tip about a week ago that a significant marijuana-growing concern was underway at the former seafood processing and packaging plant, members of the police department placed the building under surveillance. The investigation was run by the department’s detective division with help from patrol officers, Fowler said, and on Thursday night that surveillance paid off.

“As the officer was watching the place, he saw a van leaving,” Fowler said. “The officer followed the van, and through the window he could see a number of large marijuana plants in the van. Not only could the officer (Sgt. Tim Hunter) see the plants, but the driver didn’t have his headlights on.”

The lack of headlights gave reason to make the traffic stop, Fowler said, and Hunter found several three- to four-foot tall plants in the van. He then arrested Snyder, who was booked at the police station.

Since police saw the van pull away from the Rabbit Road establishment, officers were posted at the building, Fowler said. After a search warrant was applied for and received, police entered and searched the building.

“When we entered, we found what looked like a pretty elaborate undertaking to grow marijuana that appeared to be dismantled, as if it was being moved,” Fowler said. “We found lights and timers, the type used in cultivating plants indoors. We also found what looked like a couple of other businesses going on there.”

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