Police bust marijuana growing operation

Police discovered an indoor marijuana growing facility today capable of producing crops valued in the millions of dollars.

Officers patrolling near West Armitage Avenue noticed a "foul, funky odor," coming from what appeared to be an abandoned warehouse, said Lt. Scott Schweiger, watch commander of the 25th District.

A passerby told them the odor had been a problem for some time.

Peering in a window, the officers noticed clutter strewn over the floor of the building, which they took to be evidence of squatters or, because of the smell, a dead body.

After trying unsuccessfully to locate the builidng owner, the officers called firefighters to pry open the door of the building, located at 4706 W. Armitage Ave.

Inside, officers found a sophisticated hydroponic marijuana growing operation, along with 46 plants and six grocery bags of dried reefer.

"This was quite a complex operation," said Schweiger.

While an exact value of the marijuana had not yet been determined, preliminary estimates suggested that the growers were capable of harvesting two million dollars worth of marijuana twice a year, said Schweiger.

Besides the growing operation, which consisted of lights, an irrigation system, and plants, police also found two cars and a motorcycle in the process of being converted into "trap vehicles," or vehicles with hidden compartments for transporting the drug.

Police are searching for two suspects in the case. No charges have been filed.