CAIRO — The Grady County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit has submitted a request for a judge to issue arrest warrants for a husband and wife who they say were behind a massive drug cultivation operation run from their home in a southern Grady County residential neighborhood.

Drug Unit agents along with the Georgia State Patrol and Governor’s Task Force/Drug Suppression (GTF) executed a search warrant Thursday afternoon at a residence on the 200 block of Two States Lane, less than a mile from the Georgia-Florida border. Investigators uncovered an “extensive” marijuana growth operation with a total of 21 plants located both indoors and outdoors, said Chris Luckey, Drug Unit commander.

“It was probably one of the biggest grows that we’ve seized here in some time,” Luckey said.

In total, drug agents seized more than 19 pounds worth of weed, an amount which Luckey said is “almost impossible” for personal consumption alone. Rather, investigators say the suspects used the residence as their base of operations for growing and distributing marijuana.

Also uncovered was an indoor grow house, multiple containers of processed marijuana, a room inside the residence purposed for processing and packing marijuana and tools for processing marijuana including grinders and scales. Authorities say the most surprising find, however, was an outdoor shed that housed a water filtration system used to maintain marijuana plants, complete with an air conditioning system and heat reduction fans. Investigators say the room’s sole purpose was to manufacture marijuana.

“It was very extensive,” Luckey said. “Somebody put a lot of time and work into that thing.”

Investigators have requested that the suspects, who are married, be charged with trafficking marijuana and possession of drug-related objects.

“(Sheriff Harry Young) has continuously supported this Drug Unit and he’s wanting to make sure that the residents of this county are protected from drug trafficking,” Luckey said.

Evidence of an outdoor marijuana growth operation was first detected by a GTF helicopter conducting a routine flyover of the area Thursday. The sheriff’s office was contacted after GTF agents identified what they believed to be marijuana plants growing in the residence’s backyard. Drug Unit agents arrived at the site and established a probable cause for a search warrant, which was executed at 4:04 p.m.

Though neither suspect is currently in custody, Luckey said the suspects’ attorney contacted law enforcement as the search warrant was being executed in an attempt to arrange for their surrender once the arrest warrant has been approved. Luckey believes the suspects may have been alerted to law enforcement’s presence from a neighbor.

The case is still under investigation.

Recommended for you