Lone Bull restaurant owner arrested after police raid large marijuana growing operation

LAKE GEORGE Police arrested a local restaurant owner after raiding two of his properties and finding 411 marijuana plants and $41,000 in cash, in what appeared to be large indoor growing operations in Lake George and Johnsburg. The police also found 17 pounds of marijuana processed and packaged. Police estimated the bust involved $1.2 million or more of marijuana at prevailing street prices. Arrested in the raid were Bruce E. Nelson, 61, of 3533 Lake Shore Dr., owner and chef of Lone Bull Pancake & Steak House, and his son, Ryan B. Nelson, 32, and the sons half-brother, Logan H. Doetsch, 20. The latter two live at 463 Flat Rock Rd., Lake George. Bruce Nelson was charged with first-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a felony. Both Ryan Nelson and Doetsch were charged with two felony counts of first-degree criminal possession of marijuana, plus a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully growing cannabis. The plants were found in various stages of growth in several rental cabins owned by Bruce Nelson on his residential property, across Lake Shore Drive from the Lone Bull restaurant, plus in a residence Nelson owns on 79 Cemetery Rd. in Johnsburg -- in a remote area near North River, police said. Police said they seized equipment used to grow the marijuana, including elaborate lighting and ventilation systems. It appeared to be one of the largest operations of its type discovered here in recent history. This was an extraordinarily large and sophisticated marijuana-growing operation, Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan said. The police work in uncovering this was just tremendous. The police seizure also yielded a large quantity of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Bruce Nelson was jailed but freed after he posted $20,000 bail. Ryan Nelson was released after posting $30,000 bail, and Doetsch was freed after posting $20,000 bail, police said. Participating in the raid were members of the Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force including the Warren County Sheriffs Dept. Narcotics Unit, the state police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, state parole officers and the Saratoga County Sheriffs Dept. Warren County Sheriffs Dept. Investigator Robert Swan said that a strong marijuana odor could be easily detected outside the cabin across the street from the Lone Bull where one of the the growing operations was discovered. He said a pickup truck, a farm tractor and a trailer were seized in the raid. County Sheriff Bud York said he wasnt yet sure whether the law enforcement agencies would be seizing the Lone Bull restaurant and the other properties belonging to Bruce Nelson. Were going to seize anything we can, he said.

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