Books, Pop Culture and Political Humor from J.D. Rhoades, best-selling author, attorney, and award-winning newspaper columnist.
"Like [Lee] Child, Rhoades dishes out one airtight action scene after another, mixing in just enough character-building moments and holding our interest in a full cast of nicely developed supporting players."-Booklist
ALFRED - The recent arrests of two men accused of running large indoor marijuana-growing operations in York County is the latest example of what police say is a trend for growers to buy "shell" homes in rural areas.
The innocuous rural locations allow growers to produce year-round crops and operate sophisticated cultivating operations that are difficult for neighbors or police to detect.
These operations are a far cry from the old practice of finding a remote stretch of public land, planting a lot of seedlings and letting Mother Nature do most of the work until harvest time.
Modern growers are virtually professional horticulturists, investing thousands of dollars into growth lights, plant food and automated feeding and maintenance systems. Tens of thousands more are poured into real estate and elaborate heating, ventilation, soundproofing and power systems to conceal their crops.
"On the outside it appears like suburbia, but on the inside they are producing a crop every 90 days," said Roy McKinney, director of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.
In 2006, officials seized 2,356 plants in 38 indoor growing operations throughout the state, McKinney said. The year before, officials discovered 71 indoor growing operations, seizing 2,175 plants. The numbers are significant considering there wasn't a lot of talk about major indoor growing operations -- involving hydroponics, automatic lights and crops of hundreds or thousands of plants -- even five years ago, he said. The trend was established by gangs in Canada, he said, who would buy homes or take over abandoned industrial sites to set up large growing operations.
What IS it with you people? Is it the long winters? The dark and brooding landscape? Stephen King hanging around casting his twisted aura over everything? What?