Police: Marijuana grow found in abandoned Stop & Shop gas station

Police: Marijuana grow found in abandoned Stop & Shop gas station

WALPOLE, Mass. — A rundown former Stop and Shop gas station was home to an illegal marijuana grow operation, according to Walpole Police.

An officer on patrol saw a car parked outside the abandoned and for sale property, so he stopped his car and approached the building. According to the officer's report, he saw a man hurrying inside with a box.

"Then when that individual was confronted by police, he ran inside the building and kind of barricaded himself in, locked himself in there, and for some time refused the commands of the officer to come out," Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael said.

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The officer ordered the man to come outside where he says the man told him he was a part-owner of the property.

The officer claimed he could smell 'fresh, unburnt marijuana' inside the building when the door opened. When he asked the man to take him inside, he said the odor got stronger, and he found power cables leading to a locked room.

At that point, officers say the man declined to let them search the building and further without a warrant.

Police detained John Diarbakerly, Jr. at the scene until they could get a warrant to search the room.

Inside, police say they found a grow operation with nearly 60 marijuana plants.

"We also found evidence that it was likely that he was repackaging some of the product in operating marijuana dispensary containers, likely selling that on the street," Chief Carmichael said. "He did make statements relative to that he was growing it for other people."

Diarbakerly was arrested at the scene and arraigned in Wrentham District Court Tuesday morning. His bail was set at $1,040.