Robbery leads to discovery of marijuana-growing operation in Frederick

A report of a robbery led to the discovery of an indoor marijuana-growing operation and the arrest of the Frederick man who police say operated it.

Robert Jesse Davis, 61, of the 1400 block of Hunting Horn Lane, is charged with offenses including drug manufacturing, possession of marijuana and hashish, possession with intent to distribute, and firearm violations related to a drug crime after a search and seizure warrant was served early Saturday at his home.

Davis had earlier called police to a separate location, where he reported a home invasion robbery, Frederick Police Department spokesman Lt. Clark Pennington said. Davis told officers the robbers came to his house and assaulted him and that he got away and called police. The robbers got inside the house, but it is unknown what was stolen, said Pennington, who didn’t have information Monday about the exact number or description of the culprits.

The investigation led police to Davis’ home, where Pennington said detectives and officers noticed signs of possible drug activity, including basement windows covered with dark tape.

Police served the warrant at about 1:20 a.m., finding a sophisticated growing operation in the basement that included two large grow tents about 4 feet wide, 8 feet long and 6 feet high, according to charging documents provided by Pennington.

The tents contained high-intensity lamps, dehumidifiers, electronic insect traps, space heaters, power transformers and electronic timers that regulated the amount of light the plants received. They were also connected to a ventilation system that had fans blowing air through tubes that led to the outside of the house, the documents state. Police also found a large glass jar containing marijuana resin in a refrigerator in the basement.

Police said an upstairs bedroom had been modified into a drying and processing room for the marijuana, and two drying strings containing branches of marijuana were found inside, along with a large bag of marijuana, according to the documents.

In the master bedroom, police found 26 glass jars containing different amounts of marijuana, two large bags of marijuana, five jars of hashish, four jars of hashish joints rolled in cigar paper, as well as pressed and loose marijuana. They also found pipes, grinders and a scale along with about $1,300 in cash and two loaded handguns, the documents state.

Police also found three large bags of marijuana and a pad documenting the development of the plants in the kitchen, as well as harvested plants on the back patio.

Davis was arrested and taken to the Frederick County Adult Detention Center, where he was being held Monday in lieu of $200,000 bail.

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