It wasn’t your every day back yard garden.
A Gainesville man faces multiple charges after drug agents discovered hundreds of marijuana plants growing behind his East Hall home Wednesday.
Police say 40-year-old Jose Guadalupe Rodriguez-Zepeda was responsible for the illegal garden off Silver Wood Walk where 407 plants grew in two beds hidden in the woods behind his house.
A search warrant of Rodriguez-Zepeda’s home Wednesday turned up a number of gardening tools linking him to the crime — a long hose that stretched to the garden, fertilizer, a machete and six more plants Rodriguez-Zepeda allegedly harvested from the garden, said Lt. Scott Ware, commander of the Gainesville-Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad.
Police first became aware of Rodriguez-Zepeda when they received a tip he might be growing marijuana in his yard. The tip was confirmed with the help of a National Guard helicopter, Ware said.
Rodriguez-Zepeda was arrested and booked at the Hall County Jail on multiple drug charges. So far, he has been charged with manufacturing, trafficking and possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute. He has also been charged with felony possession of the substance.
The plants, all which Ware described to be between anywhere from 4 to 10 feet in height, have been sent to a state crime lab for analysis.
The bust is the largest of an outdoor operation in recent history, Ware said.
“We had a few grow houses a couple of years ago, but this was like an old-fashioned outdoor marijuana grow operation,” Ware said.