NORTH ATTLEBORO — A local man has been charged in an illegal indoor marijuana growing operation that included enough plants to yield an estimated $200,000 in street sales.
Michael Alves, 41, of 35 Indian Trail, will be summonsed for arraignment Tuesday in Attleboro District Court on a misdemeanor charge of manufacturing marijuana, according to court records.
Local and state police executed a search warrant for a house and garage on the property on Oct. 11. They reported finding 63 plants between 3 and 5 feet tall, six pounds of marijuana in plastic bags and other containers, and lighting and growing equipment.
Also found was $6,980 in cash, according to police.
Police say Alves, who was not at home at the time of the raid, told them he has a medical marijuana license and is licensed to grow the plants. But police say the alleged growing operation contained far beyond the six plants allowed per person or 12 for two people, according to court records.
A lawyer for Alves could not be reached by The Sun Chronicle for comment Friday.
The raid by local and state police came after a tip from North Attleboro Electric Department workers who noticed unusually high amounts of electricity were being used for the garage, according to police.
The average home in North Attleboro uses about 500 to 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. Alves’ home had normal usage but the garage accounted for 14,000 to 17,000 kilowatt hours of power, about the level of a commercial business, according to the report.
The usage was so high, electric department workers told police, they now believe it was responsible for causing a nearby transformer to blow up in February 2018.
When electric department workers went to check on the new transformer in September, they allegedly smelled marijuana and noticed that all the windows on the garage were boarded up. They also noticed a security camera on the property, according to records.
Search warrants were obtained at Attleboro District Court during a subsequent investigation by detectives Sgt. Richard McQuade, Kevin McKeon and Daniel Arrighi.
A clerk magistrate issued the criminal charge following a show-cause hearing earlier this month.