COLD SPRING - A joint investigation by multiple police agencies led to the dismantling of a major indoor marijuana growing operation in the town of Cold Spring in Cattaraugus County and the seizure of more than 1,000 marijuana plants.
A contingent of Law Enforcement officials from the Jamestown and Olean offices of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, Cattaraugus County Sheriffs Office, DEA Task Force, and NYSP Community Narcotics Enforcement Team raided a residence at an undisclosed location in the Town of Cold Spring.
Inside they discovered a sophisticated marijuana growing operation utilizing several rooms in the house. Overall 1,162 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of more than $2,000,000 were seized as well as approximately $10,000 worth of high-tech equipment used in the growing operation. Authorities believe that the grow had been in progress over the past several months.
One person was taken into custody by the Cattaraugus County Sheriffs Office.
Xiao Xia Tang, a Chinese national, 31, was arrested and charged with theft of services and unlawful growing of marijuana.
Tang was arraigned in the Town of Napoli and was remanded to the Cattaraugus County Jail.
Additional charges at the state and federal level are pending, and Cattaraugus County District Attorney Laurie Rieman has been apprised of the investigation.
It was also determined Tang was an illegal alien and agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been notified.
Also assisting law enforcement at the scene were members of National Grid and the Cold Spring Volunteer Fire Department.
Authorities stress that the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding illegal drug activity should contact their local police department or the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force. All calls will be kept confidential.
June 20, 2010