BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A cache of 21 handguns and rifles, marijuana plants worth “tens of thousands” of dollars, anabolic steroids, growth hormone and ammunition were seized from a Bridgeport home late Saturday in what Mayor Joseph P. Ganim called “one of the largest single arrest results anyone can remember.”
Officers arrested Jack Kelhoffer, 30, of 30 Aldine Ave., after breaching the door to his house and finding the suspect standing in a hallway near a loaded Glock semi-automatic handgun, police said.
They executed a search-and-seizure warrant, finding “an elaborate marijuana cultivation center” in the basement of the home in Bridgeport's attractive Brooklawn neighborhood, police said. Two safes in the basement contained the 21 weapons, according to a press release.
The pungent aroma of marijuana hung in the air at the River Street building that will be home to the city’s 4-week-old Violent Crime Reduction Task Force, which was drying the plants before weighing them.
Ganim credited the unit and Capt. Armando Perez for the arrest and for the seizure of the guns and drugs. He said State Police and federal officers were also involved in the two-month investigation.
“The most dramatic impact is what’s behind us,” Ganim said, nodding to the weapons lined up along the wall. “This is not about policy. This is about action.”
Police said each of the 85 plants was capable of producing one to two pounds of marijuana, which would sell for about $600 an ounce.
Federal officers from Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have not determined whether any of the weapons were registered to Kelhoffer, whether any have been reported stolen or whether any have been used in a crime, Perez said.
He said the operation had nothing to do with gangs and that Kelhoffer’s was a “lucrative” marijuana business in the city and across the state. Kelhoffer sold to both youth and “an exclusive clientele,” he said.
In addition to the plants and weapons, police seized 500 grams of harvested marijuana, thousands of rounds of ammunition, 23 bottles of anabolic steroids, 250 tablets of human growth hormone and 34 tablets of Xanax.
When Kelhoffer failed to give investigators the combination to one of the safes, Bridgeport Fire Department was summoned to force it open with hydraulic sheers.
Kelhoffer was charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana over four ounces, possession of marijuana, failure to keep narcotics in original container and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.
Other charges are expected as the investigation continues.
Kellhoffer was arraigned Monday. His bond was not known, Perez said.
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