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Tip leads to bust of 'sophisticated' marijuana growing operation in Allentown

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 27 2014 04:00:19 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 28 2014 06:59:47 AM CST

Police call it a sophisticated marijuana growing operation.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Police call it a sophisticated marijuana growing operation inside a home next to a school in Allentown.

Neighbors said it was the last thing they expected on their block.

"Shocked. Shocked," said one neighbor.

Police received an anonymous tip about a strong odor of marijuana coming from the East Highland Street home of Charles Quier.

"There were 36 plants in a sophisticated hydroponic growing system in the house with a lot of lighting and a lot of irrigation and air vents throughout the house," said Capt. William Reinik, Allentown Police Dept.

The plants have a street value of about $40,000, according to court documents.

While officers were searching the home, they discovered $1,000 cash and eight bags of a substance believed to be heroin, according to court documents. Police said a shotgun and a pistol were also found in the home.

Quier's house is just around the corner from the Newcomer Academy, a school that acclimates foreign students to the Allentown School District.

Neighbors said they didn't see this coming, adding that Quier, 27, was a good neighbor who waved hello and took good care of his property.

Police said they believe he may have been experiencing financial difficulties.

"He was a nice guy. I never would have thought there was any problem with marijuana," said a neighbor.

Quier was arrested on charges in connection with the grow house. He posted $75,000 bail.