More Than 7,000 Plants Seized; 16 Arrested, Mostly Illegals

WURTSBORO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It is being described as the biggest indoor “home-grown” marijuana bust ever.

As many as 7,000 marijuana plants — with a value of $10 million — were found in seven houses across upstate Sullivan County, reports CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

Sixteen people were arrested, including three women. They were brought from Sullivan County to the federal courthouse in White Plains because of this particular marijuana is not just any marijuana.

“This is a case of a harvested crop, moved somewhere else and sold in bulk,” Sullivan County Sheriff Michael Schiff said.

In other words, the suspects are not being accused of selling nickel bags next door, but growing $10 million worth of pot — the largest indoor home-grown marijuana takedown ever, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. When the sheriffs realized the scope of it, they brought in the DEA because this was a wholesale operation.

“They look for a place that is secluded. You’re not gonna smell the marijuana. People are not going to see who goes in and out,” Sheriff Schiff said.

There was nothing to attract suspicion — except for one property’s unique fence, which sloped in tiers.

“I don’t think you’ll see fences like this anywhere else,” one neighbor said.

Now the feds want to know who hired these 16 Latin American immigrants to grow millions of dollars worth of marijuana. At least 14 of the 16 people arrested are in the United States illegally.

Immigration authorities immediately put a detainer on them. When this marijuana case eventually ends, they will be deported.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (25)
  1. Danny says:

    The New World Order is taking over

  2. John Kearney says:

    Local Sullivan Police let a Certified Level 3 sexual predator, John Miliano, from NJ live here for a year and never arrested him for the failure to report himself as living in Sullivan County, mainly because his father was Chief of Police in Linden, NJ. Maybe these pot growers should have been pediphiles and they never would have been arrested!

    1. John Kearney says:

      I read this and while shame on the Sherrifs Dept. Deputy Sherwood, for not arresting Miliano, the final failurel to prosecute lies with Assisstant District Attorney, Bonnie Mitzner.I wanted to be fair and precise. Courts here in Sullivan are run like a business, in and out, justice to the wind, let the court of appeals figure it out, if they will!

  3. taylor says:

    It is not the DEA.. it is the law. I am completely against the law, but if you’re going to down talk it, talk about the right thing.
    Let’s also look at the fact that 14 OUT OF 16 were illegal. somebody was not doing their job.

  4. Fuzzbuster says:

    Congratulations Sheriff Mike Schiff and the DEA. It is about time someone took the growing crime problem in Sullivan County seriously.

  5. Joe Smoke says:

    It is telling that the comments are uniformly AGAINST this kind of enforcement. The parallels between “the war on drugs” and Prohibition are not stretches–they are reasonable and worthy of consideration. Despite all evidence available through our media, there is a Puritan strain to this country–that’s what contributes to the institutional mindset that pot should be outlawed. One observation made above about cops drinking is interesting–between firemen and cops the amount of alcohol consumed would shock you. Any city in the country. Not just NYC. Ridiculous laws that result in these busts are the height of hypocrisy.

  6. SDW says:

    Omg here we go again..out of all the possible issues in sullivan county the cops wanna go n mess with someoNes garden?lol such a shame!are they policemen or gardeners????who were they bothering honestly?

  7. Tiyquon Dawkins says:

    Dag, where tha cheesy diesel went?

  8. PIKE BISHOP JR. says:


  9. Roy says:

    Make it legal,tax it like liquor,and watch the state deficit go down……..

    1. Rodin says:

      Right on! And keep school budgets intact, firehouses open and cops on the streets preventing violent crime and other mayhem.

  10. Rodger says:

    What stupid people enforcing stupid laws. This is exactly why people no longer respect lawmakers and law enforcers. Stupid Jocks.

  11. jeff tardes says:

    Who did they hurt? Who’s rights were being infringed? REALLY?

    We have huge problems in this country. This is not one of them. This is just silly.
    These police should feel embarrased to be playing gardener than policeman. They need to be doing their job, not chasing pot. If it wasn’t so wasteful it would be funny. Don’t tax it, there are more than enough taxes. Just legalize it.

  12. Juan Holeo says:

    Stupid Law… change it. Its out dated. Alcohol and cigarettes are more dangerous and legal.

  13. Junior says:

    Sullivan County is a very poor county, no jobs, resorts gone, teem moms, you name it, infested with problems and poverty. Imagine if this stuff was legal how much tax money that would bring in????

  14. 1608 says:

    It’s only pot, what’s the big

  15. Extra Ordinary Larry says:

    This is such a shame. So stupid and wasteful. Sure, the DEA agents feel like American Heroes, but that’s about all.

    Come on, and you know some of those cops helped themselves to a little bud when no one else was looking. There are a lot of cops who toke it up, then go out and arrest their fellow smokers.

    I hate hearing of stories like this 🙁

    1. Max says:

      No cops smoke weed, nor do any fireman. It stays in your system for a month and they have random drug tests. But they all drink …. a lot. And probably they do coke cuz it runs through your system in a day or two. Teachers smoke weed cuz fo the stress and they don’t get tested.

      1. tOMMY says:

        FDNY firemen smoke pot, my friend got caught and fired for it. he used to smoke it in the car on the way to work, in uniform

  16. Rodin says:

    PS –

    I wonder if any of the smirking heroes in ‘dah pitchoor’ cropped a couple of branches to take home as souveniers. You know, like the national security guardians at Customs do with European hams and Latin American fruit.

  17. Rodin says:

    What a shame. What a waste.

    Wasted energy. Wasted $$$. Wasted crime-fighting manpower. Wasted effort. Wasted harmless, beneficial pot.

    Didn’t they learn anything after Prohibition?

    Next they’ll want to ban prostitution.


    LET IT BE!

  18. Electrikciti says:

    Marijuanna Legalization Music Video Parody…leave a comment….fight the power…. Subscribe!!!

  19. John V. says:

    One cant help but recall the prohibition era images of enforcement agents smashing whiskey barrels and liquor bottles with the same stupid looks on their faces. Come on already…. leagalize and tax it.

    1. Electrikciti says:

      Exactly, the drug cartels are making $billions/anually….….checkout our music video parody…lyrics are on video 2 sing along…lol… thx

  20. Electrikciti says:

    Now The DEA can resell the Mari-Jane on the streets & then arrest more people for our God-given magical plant. Alcoholics drink everyday, tabacco users smoke thousands of cigarettes a minute causing cancer, while marijuanna users fight cancer, ms, parkinsons, Aids, lymes disease, etc and face jail time.

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