BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A Buffalo police officer has been charged with running a marijuana-growing operation inside a warehouse in the city.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Officer Jorge Melendez and a second man, Jason Elardo, were growing more than 1,000 plants inside the well-equipped location. Melendez was arrested at police headquarters Thursday after his shift.
Court documents show investigators have been watching the property since being tipped to the operation last May. City property records indicate Melendez and Elardo bought the building in December 2007.
The pair made initial appearances in federal court and were ordered held for a detention hearing Friday. Neither has yet hired a lawyer.
Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda says Melendez, the son of a late, retired officer, is off the force. He'd been an officer for four years.