PORTLAND - Jerry J. Erhard, 44, of Plank Rd., Portland and Jenell L. Long, 37, of Plank Rd., Portland were each charged with second-degree criminal possession of marihuana, unlawfully growing marihuana, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia and unlawfully dealing with a child on Wednesday, May 8.
According to the drug task force, members of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department SWAT team and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 7145 Plank Rd., in the Town of Portland. A search warrant has been issued earlier by County Court Judge Steven Cass authorizing the search at this location. This search warrant was based on an investigation by members of the STRDTF. The search warrant was executed without incident.
The subjects reside at the residence and were home at the time of the entry into the residence. As a result of the search of the home, officers seized a sophisticated marihuana growing operation, 256 growing marihuana plants, a quantity of processed marihuana, a quantity of controlled substances, three long guns and a large quantity of cash associated with the marihuana growing operation.
The system used to grow the marihuana was set up with timers for the light and watering system as well as a pulley system to allow the lights to move over the plants to better replicate outdoor growing conditions, which forces plant growth. The value of the growing marihuana is place at approximately $250,000.
At this time, both subjects listed have been temporarily released, pending the processing of all of the evidence seized. Additional charges will be placed with the above charges after the evidence is processed.
Authorities continue to ask anyone who observes narcotics related activity in their community to call either the STRDTF at 1-800-334-8702 or their local police agency.