Multi-million dollar illegal marijuana growing operation discovered in the Berkshires

Berkshire County

SAVOY, Mass. (WWLP) – Excessive use of electricity led to the discovery of a multi-million dollar illegal marijuana growing operation in Savoy.

The Massachusetts State Police told 22News, Eversource crews were called to a home on Jackson Road for an electrical problem July 29. They believe the house was using $10,000 worth of electricity every month, which overloaded and damaged the wires by excessive use.

Police were called because a man in the house, later identified as Yebin Mai was not cooperating with Eversource to address the problem. The Eversource lineman made several attempts to explain to a resident, who claimed he did not speak English, the power needed to be shut off and the home’s electrical hookups needed to be inspected.

According to State Police, Mai attempted to give the lineman an envelope with $100 bills inside but after trying to give it back, Mai pushed the lineman’s hand away. The Eversource crew decided to leave the residence, left the power on and called police.

When Massachusetts State Police arrived, a white 2019 Ford pickup with a New York license plates attempted to leave the property but was stopped by police to have Eversource try to explain the safety hazard at the home. The driver was identified as Yebin Mai Staten Island, N.Y., by his New York driver’s license, There were also two other men in the truck

Eversource turned off the power after inspecting the home’s four electric meters that revealed the wiring was melted and fresh burn marks on the wood encased meters caused from excessive power being drawn through them. The police allowed the men to leave.

According to State Police, troopers made the following observations outside the house:

  • There was a slight smell for fresh grown marijuana near the house.
  • While there were no visible ventilation outlets, there were the distinct sounds of multiple fans running in the residence. After the power was shut off and the fans inside had stopped running, the smell of fresh marijuana became much stronger around the residence.
  • All windows were covered with closed curtains and what appeared to be plywood on the interior of the windows.
  • The backyard was covered with debris from what appeared to be extensive renovations in the house. Mixed in with the debris were large green pots used for planting and some large florescent light fixtures.
  • Each entrance had a door camera tracking the entrance and exit of anyone using that doorway.
  • A worn path led from the back of the house into the woods. At the end of the path was a very large pile of used potting soil, all in the shape of large pots apparently from which they had been dumped. There were roots and stalks in the soil where plants had been harvested. Troopers, through training and experience, knew these to be discarded marijuana roots.

Police then got a search warrant and executed on July 31 with the State Police Detective Unit, a State Police regional drug task force, and a DEA. They found 3,598 marijuana plants inside the house, weighing 560 pounds, with an estimated street value of over $3 million dollars. No one was home at the time.

The cellar was equipped with a “sophisticated hydro system” full of marijuana plants with lights, chemicals and ventilation system, as seen in the photos below. More marijuana plants were found in the house.

The owner of the home, 32-year-old Bin Huang of Brooklyn, New York and 28-year-old Yebin Mai from Staten Island were arrested on multiple drug charges. Both are being held on $100,000 bail and arraigned in North Adams District Court Friday.

MAP 72 Jackson Road in Savoy, Mass.

More than 4,100 marijuana plants discovered in Monson, Palmer homes

Two people were arrested July 29 in connection with multiple illegal marijuana growing facilities in Monson and Palmer. 41-year-old Weiqing Li and 49-year-old Li Qin Li were charged with manufacturing marijuana and possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute.

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