Alert citizen leads officers to pot-growing operation
A call from a concerned citizen led to the arrest of a 49-year-old man and the seizure of about 30 marijuana plants Monday at a residence in Long Lake Township, Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl said.
James Martin Fanjoy was arrested for felony fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and felony domestic assault by strangulation. He is being held in the Crow Wing County Jail pending formal charges.
About 7 a.m. Monday, members of the Crow Wing County Tactical Response Team executed a search warrant at Fanjoy’s residence on the 1000 block of Wicklund Road, Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Meyer said.
Officers with the Lakes Area Drug Investigative Division located 16 mature marijuana plants in a room outfitted with special lights and ventilation. Outside officers found another 15 plants in the woods.
Officers also seized hydroponics equipment, including grow lights, ventilation equipment, chemicals and fertilizer, used in the marijuana growing operation.
Meyer said the marijuana being grown was of a high grade and the plants would be worth thousands of dollars once mature.
“It was a significant seizure for this type of growing operation,” Meyer said.
Meyer said the case was a result of a phone call he received from a concerned citizen about a week ago. The information from the caller contained general information, Meyer said, and the LADID followed up, resulting in Fanjoy’s arrest.
“We want that in the community. It’s so vitally important,” Dahl said of residents reporting concerns to law enforcement officials. “Joe (Meyer) and the LADID did a superb job in reference to this case based off the information. Communication is a vital link in law enforcement, be it regarding road work or in narcotics investigations.”
Meyer said the LADID received information a couple of years ago that Fanjoy may have been involved in growing marijuana but was unable to build a case. The last major arrest based on information from a concerned citizen was a couple of years ago on Johnson Road and also involved marijuana, Meyer said.
Anyone wishing to report suspicious activity is encouraged to call the sheriff’s department at 829-4749 and ask for the LADID. Callers can remain anonymous and Meyer said every call if taken seriously and followed up on.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.