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Two pot-growing operations halted

These marijuana plants were confiscated in one of two growing operations that were busted near Wurtsboro, NY over the past week.

By Fritz Mayer
December 5, 2012

PHILLIPSPORT, NY — Officers from the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office have halted two separate marijuana-growing operations in the small hamlet of Phillipsport, near Wurtsboro.

On December 3, a Rockland County man was stopped on Route 209 for a traffic violation. When Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Feola approached the vehicle, he noticed the strong smell of marijuana, and the driver, 59-year-old Jeffrey Genser, had five garbage bags full of freshly harvested pot. Genser was taken into custody for Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (DWAI).

A search warrant for a residence located at 10 Depot Rd. in Phillipsport was obtained and executed. There deputies discovered a sophisticated growing operation, complete with timer-controlled grow lights, bags of fertilizer and humidity-control equipment. Deputies confiscated approximately 135 plants in various stages of growth.

This arrest comes on the heels of another search warrant that was executed November 30 at a residence located directly across Route 209, on Ministers Flats Road. In that raid, 69 plants were recovered.

“We do not believe the two are connected,” said Sullivan County Sheriff Mike Schiff. “The defendant may have been ‘spooked’ by reports of the earlier arrest and decided to harvest his crop in a hurry.”

Jeffery Genser was charged with possession of marijuana, unlawfully growing cannibis and DWAI. He was arraigned before Town of Mamakating Judge Joel Welsh and sent to the Sullivan County jail without bail. The street value of the drug was estimated at $100,000.

During the November 30 incident, detectives arrested David W. Johnson, Jr., 33, who lived at the residence with his girlfriend and two-year-old son. Deputies recovered approximately 69 plants in various stages of growth. Deputies also recovered grow lights, humidity-control equipment, fertilizer and a loaded 12-gauge shotgun.

Deputies estimate the value of the crop at $50,000. Johnson was charged with possession of marijuana, unlawfully growing cannabis and endangering the welfare of a minor. The defendant was arraigned by Town of Mamakating Justice Joel Welsh and sent to the Sullivan County jail without bail.

Over the past two years, at least six marijuana grow-houses have been shut down in Sullivan County.