SAVOY — Police have seized thousands of marijuana plants worth more than $3 million and arrested two New York men in connection with a large indoor growing operation.
Yebin Mai, 28, of Staten Island, and Bin Huang, 32, of Brooklyn, were arrested Wednesday in their a pickup truck near the home after state police had conducted their investigation.
Police were tipped off by an Eversource crew that was responding to an electrical problem at 72 Jackson Road on July 29, according to a news release.
The workers told police the wires had been "overloaded and damaged by excessive electricity use from the house," the release said. Mai, who was at the home, refused to allow the workers inside and, according to police, slipped an envelope filled with $100 bills into one of the workers' pockets as he insisted they leave the power on.
The workers then left and alerted police to the suspicious behavior, the release said.
When state police arrived at the home, they discovered "the metal and wiring in and around the meters was melted from the excessive power being drawn through them," according to the release. "Eversource records indicated the home was using $10,000 in electricity every month. Fresh burn marks on the wood that encased the meters indicated that there had been a small fire at one point."
Based on observations outside the home, including security cameras, discarded marijuana plant roots, and an odor of marijuana that got stronger after the power was cut, shutting off ventilation fans, police obtained a search warrant.
Once inside, police found room after room filled with marijuana plants "organized in rows with lights above them," as well as hydroponic chemicals and cultivation tools.
In all, police seized 3,598 marijuana plants with a total weight of 560 pounds.
Huang, the owner of the home, and Mai are facing charges of marijuana trafficking. They are being held on $100,000 bail pending their arraignment Friday in Northern Berkshire District Court.
Police are still seeking two other men who were with Mai on the day when the Eversource workers approached.
Troopers from the state police Cheshire barracks, along with members of the Berkshire State Police Detective Unit, the State Police Narcotics Inspection Unit, a State Police Narcotics Task Force and a federal Drug Employment Agency agent, were involved in the arrest.