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281 marijuana plants seized in Gerrardstown

Troopers executed fugitive warrant on Joseph Patrick Judge III

December 10, 2010

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Police seized 281 marijuana plants from a large indoor growing operation in a Gerrardstown residence on Wednesday and found a man wanted by Montgomery County, Md., authorities for narcotics distribution, West Virginia State Police said.

Police discovered a large growth of marijuana in the front of the home and a hydroponics growing operation in the basement of the residence, state police Sgt. M.L. Dickerson said in a news release.

Joseph Patrick Judge III, of 360 Slingshot Lane, was found about 1 p.m., when troopers executed a fugitive warrant, police said. In addition to the plants, state troopers also discovered an amount of marijuana and various smoking devices.

Police determined that the elaborate cultivation operation included several hydroponics ultraviolet grow lights, an elaborate watering system and several fertilizing manuals and substances, police said.

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The seized marijuana plants were valued at $420,500, police said. Troopers noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the residence upon making a safety sweep around it, police said.

State Trooper C. A. Ellwanger, who is assigned to the West Virginia Eastern Panhandle Violent Drug and Crime Task Force, along with Trooper M. D. Gillmore, and Cpl. L. A. Faircloth, went to the home to execute the warrant.

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