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BY DONNIE JOHNSTON
Culpeper marijuana growers are having a hard time getting their crops harvested this fall.
Last week, the street crimes unit (town police and sheriff's deputies) raided an elaborate basement growing operation or Wayland Road, and on Monday officers hit a large home-garage growing operation on Williams Drive and seized marijuana plants worth an estimated $180,000.
The street crimes unit served a search warrant shortly after 9 p.m. and found about 60 marijuana plants growing in the garage at a residence where 34-year-old Peter I. Gates lived, according to Corey Byers of the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office. During the arrest, two handguns, an assault rifle, several ounces of packaged marijuana and more than $3,000 in cash were confiscated in addition to the marijuana plants, Byers said.
Gates was charged with possession with intent to distribute more than five pounds of marijuana and possession of a firearm while in possession of more than one pound of marijuana.
"For the second time in less than a week, the street crimes unit has successfully targeted and ended an illegal drug operation in Culpeper," Sheriff Scott Jenkins said. "We are all proud of the work being done by this aggressive group of officers."
Gates was released on a $10,000 secured bond.