United States narcotics agents have raided a disused factory in Cleveland and dismantled the biggest soil-less marijuana operation in the country.
GV EXTERIOR Factory premises with police in doorway
GV Spectators from adjoining factory looking through fence
GVs & SVs INTERIOR Marijuana growing (5 shots)
SV Narcotics agents removing equipment and plants from factory (2 shots)
SV Plants being removed (MORGAN'S VOICE SOT)
CU Narcotic agent James Morgan speaking of raid (SOT)
GVs Marijuana and equipment being loaded onto truck by agents
GV People from adjoining factory watching
SV & CU Worker from adjoining factory speaking (SOT)
GVs Agents loading factory equipment (2 shots)
MORGAN: (SEQ. 5 & 6): "Most of the plants in there are being cultivated as sensor-moving, which is the more potent from, which is 'manicured', if you will, as it grows, to obtain the more highly potent parts of the marijuana."
REPORTER: "Did you ever wonder what was over there?"
WORKER: "Sure -- I just assumed it was machinery."
NOTE TO EDITORS: THIS STORY HAS COMMENTARY BY NBC REPORTER LEON BIBB WHICH MAY BE USED IF REQUIRED.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: United States narcotics agents have raided a disused factory in Cleveland and dismantled the biggest soil-less marijuana operation in the country. The plants, fed by chemicals and minerals and heated by overhead lights, were growing on three floors of the building. The system, known as hydroponics, bring the crop to fruition in weeks. The operation yielded two million dollars a year for the owner of the factory, John Mirabeau, who was arrested during the raid. Police and narcotics agents staged the raid after a tip-off from colleagues in Mississippi who had staged a similar operation there. Agent James Morgan said the plants had been cultivated to obtain the most potent marijuana, and had been 'manicured' to ensure their growth. Workers from an adjoining building said they had wondered what was in the factory, but it had never occurred to them that marijuana could be the product.