LAWRENCEVILLE (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Police say burglars led them to the biggest marijuana growing operation they’ve seen in 25 years.
People living on Davison Street called 911 overnight to report suspicious activity on Urbana Way.
KDKA’s Kym Gable Reports:
When police arrived, two men were carrying garbage bags filled with marijuana plants out of a building.
The men broke into the building at 4100-4110 Davison Street through a door in the alley. Another man stayed on guard with a pit bull in a vehicle about a block away.
“One of the three was actually in a car a few blocks away,” said Pittsburgh Police spokesperson Sonya Toler. “I guess they were waiting for the other two to arrive or give them a signal of some sort, and that actor was in the vehicle with a pit bull.”
All three were taken into custody.
Police have identified them as 31-year-old Michael Snee, 34-year-old Frederick Jeffcoat and 30-year-old Shaun Hollis, all of them from McKeesport.
KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland Reports:
According to the criminal complaint, guns and masks were involved.
While dealing with the burglary, police say they “detected a very strong odor of fresh marijuana emanating from the second floor” of the building, and saw leaves stuck to two of the suspects’ clothing. Snee reportedly told officers they were just going for a walk.
The three men are charged with burglary, criminal conspiracy and other counts, but police say someone else rented the actual space and operated the grow lab.
They say these were no amateurs and call the operation “sophisticated.”
KDKA’s Trina Orlando Reports:
For nearly 12 hours Thursday, Pittsburgh Police and DEA officers were hauling more than 300 marijuana plants and equipment out of the building.
Complete Vending Service Inc. operates on the first floor of the building, but police are not sure who was renting the upstairs space.
The tenants had been in the commercial space for about six months.
Multiple surveillance cameras are mounted on the building. Police say they will be reviewing those as the investigation continues.