Local farmer shut down by authorities
Albemarle lauds its agricultural heritage. In Scottsville, Dave Matthews has an organic farm. A few miles away, another farmer was looking at a bumper crop this year, until police swooped in July 25 to arrest Gary Peck, 51, for growing 4,400 pot plants in his Blenheim Road backyard, the largest bust ever in this area.
Police value the crop at $4.8 million, assuming a street value of $1,110 per plant, even for those that are tiny seedlings. Others reached 9 feet tall. More astounding is Peck's alleged intensive gardening technique that crammed 4,000-plus plants into a 10'X10' plot surrounded by bamboo in his backyard.
Peck is charged with manufacturing a heckuva lot of ganja, as well as for having four guns and a half-pound of pot in his house.
Meanwhile, the Albemarle police station evidence room floor is redolent with reefer that's being dried to be used as evidence, according to the Progress. "We're obviously not a professional dope-drying facility," says forensic technician Carol Townsend, "but we do the best we can."