Police bust of "sophisticated" grow operation caught on camera

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee police were recently able to arrest a man accused of running a sophisticated marijuana grow operation, and a neighbor happened to catch police pulling evidence from the home on her cell phone.

In the area of 33rd and Lloyd, Milwaukee police officers responded in large numbers, as a neighbor hit the "record video" button on her cell phone.

"There was a whole bunch of copes out here. I was kinda scared," the neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, told FOX6 News.

Photographs released by police show dozens of marijuana plants, a sophisticated hydroponic growing system with ventilation, grow lamps and tarps to help control the temperature.

In another room, images show a kind of nursery, where a young crop was cared for.

"I've never seen a growing operation in so many different rooms," Police Captain Jason Smith said.

Smith says the grow lab was in operation for about a year, and was built to keep the pungent smell from seeping outside.

Inside, it was another story.

"Officers had to wear protective gear, including respirators because it was so strong," Smith said.

In all, Smith says investigators seized 145 plants in various stages of growth.

When mature, each plant is capable of producing about a pound of weed a month, with a street value worth anywhere between $3,500 to $5,000.

Police walked out with the weed and the man accused of running the grow operation. 44-year-old Antoine Grissom is charged with two counts linked to the bud business.

The home is now boarded up, with the plants, equipment and other items having been taken away, including a cannabis grow bible.