INDIANAPOLIS - The Franklin Police Department is asking for the public's help identifying who was involved in a marijuana grow operation that officers discovered on Feb. 22.
Officers found the grow operation because they could smell the drug coming from a building at 200 Eastview Drive during a routine traffic stop, police said.
"Right spot, right time. Where the car pulled over put his vehicle adjacent to the vent at the side of the building so that was blowing out that odor right on him," Franklin Police Chief Tim O’Sullivan said.
When the officers executed their search warrant a couple hours later, they found and seized more than 350 marijuana plants.
A "large amount" of processed marijuana was also found in the building, police said.
"I believe there was over 388 plants at all different stages, most of them being mature. A large amount of marijuana that had been harvested and was hanging to dry," O’Sullivan said.
State police helped dismantle the grow operation, which included lights, sump pumps and an irrigation system.
Police said the grow operation is believed to have been active since October 2012. Police said the property’s renter is a person of interest, but they know it wasn’t a one-person operation.
With a golf course, an industrial park and a walking trail nearby, Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness said it is unbelievable nobody saw or smelled the marijuana being grown right under their noses for so long.
"The property to the north of it is a grain bin. And so there's a lot of traffic in and out of there with semis and hauling grain and farm equipment. And so having an odor like that may have been easy to blend in with the agriculture that surrounds it," McGuiness said.
Police said the property owner is not a suspect.
Anyone with information about the building or who might have been involved in the operation is asked to call 317-346-1107 or visit the department's Facebook page .