PAWTUCKET – Police still weren’t commenting this week on how a large-scale marijuana grow operation went undetected in the Armory Arts Center building at 172 Exchange St.
Brian Thibeault, who owns this building and The Times building just up the road at 23 Exchange St., wasn’t returning calls to his cell phone for comment this week.
City officials said police continued to investigate as of Monday.
The facility, once home to a vibrant mix of tenants, including the Gamm Theatre and the Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing and Visual Arts, was in the news five years ago when a scam involving credit card payments from renters was revealed. Thibeault at the time said that scam was being run by one employee.
Police last Tuesday, Sept. 20, seized 1,300 marijuana plants, 81 pounds of marijuana, and equipment, all revealed after firefighters discovered it a day earlier after responding to an alarm there around 6:30 p.m.
The narcotics unit got a search warrant, which they executed Sept. 20, seizing the plants, marijuana ready for sale, and growing equipment.
The marijuana grow was discovered inside the large bay garage doors seen when pulling into the parking lot from Exchange Street, in the Gamm Theatre space between the main Armory building and Tolman High School, according to officials.