Marijuana grow operation found in Franklin County, suspected grower arrested

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. – The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a man they believe to have been operating a large marijuana grow operation.

Investigators were called to a home on Highway 20 in the Spruce Pine community because of a strong smell of marijuana. Deputies went to the area and observed the smell themselves, leading them to call the Drug Unit.

The man located at the address, identified as Manuel De Jesus Diaz Alvarez, cooperated and took the investigators into a mobile home beside the house. Inside, investigators found two modified rooms full of half-grown marijuana plants. There were also five containers of sprouting marijuana plants in a nearby shed.

Investigators say they also found what they’re calling a well-built grow room in the basement of the main house. They say nearly the entire basement was full of mature marijuana plants.

There were a total of 250 plants confiscated, according to investigators, weighing 280 pounds.

Alvarez is charged with trafficking marijuana and felony possession of drug paraphernalia.