A Buffalo police officer was arrested today and charged with operating a marijuana grow operation in South Buffalo.
Jorge Melendez, a four-year veteran of the department, is accused of overseeing a marijuana operation that included two warehouses and more than 1,000 plants.
Police also charged Jason Elardo, who is not a police officer, as part of their ongoing investigation.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said he was angry and disgusted upon learning of Melendez's involvement in the alleged drug operation. Melendez is the third current or former Buffalo police officer arrested in recent weeks.
"It's disgusting," Derenda said at a news conference announcing Melendez's arrest. "We're going to do all we can to take out the garbage."
U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said he was most surprised by the allegation that Melendez checked on his grow operation while on duty and in uniform.
"That, to me, was the most troubling aspect of this, that he left his post of duty," Hochul said.
Derenda said Melendez was fired right after his arrest today. He remains in police custody and will appear in federal court Friday.
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