Authorities Seized Nearly 1,700 Pot Plants Worth $3.8 Million

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Two Long Island men have been charged in connection with a large-scale marijuana growing and distribution ring.

Authorities say they ran the indoor operation out of their homes.

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Edward Dispirito, 55, of Riverhead and James Ford, 70, of Seaford were charged Tuesday with conspiracy to distribute marijuana under the Bad Dog label, Newsday reported.

They were arrested in raids carried out by agents of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Division and Suffolk County police.

Court papers say nearly 1,700 marijuana plants worth $3.8 million were found at Dispirito’s home. They say records were found that indicated Dispirito illegally tapped $275,000 worth of electricity from the Long Island Power Authority to power grow lamps and other equipment.

Court papers say authorities found five pounds of packages marijuana and hundreds of Bad Dog stickers at Ford’s home.

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Ford’s attorney said prosecuting marijuana cases was a waste of federal money.

Dispirito’s attorney declined to comment.

If convicted, both men face up to 20 years in prison.

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