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(12:30 PM) Busti Pair Charged After Marijuana Grow Operation Found

BUSTI — An illegal marijuana growing operation netted charges against two Busti residents, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office said.

Police took 36-year-old Thomas D. Maher and 30-year-old Barbara L. Lobb into custody following an investigation by members of the Lakewood-Busti Police Department and Southern Tier Regional Dug task Force. The Sheriff’s Office said police had been investigating after it was learned marijuana was being grown and sold from the pair’s property at 161 Big Tree Road in the town of Busti.

A search warrant was executed Monday on the residence, and inside investigators found the “large-scale” growing operation consisting of 183 marijuana plants and “various paraphernalia items used in the process of growing, harvesting, packaging, weighing and the sale of marijuana,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

Maher and Lobb were each charged with unlawfully growing the plant known as cannabis without a license, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. They were committed to Chautauqua County Jail pending arraignment.