A former Baltimore City police technician arrested by Howard County police in May after they found a half-million dollars' worth of marijuana plants in his North Laurel home has pleaded guilty to one count of manufacturing controlled dangerous substances and is now awaiting sentencing, according to state's attorney spokesman Wayne Kirwan.
Manoj P. Unni, 30, of the 9300 block of Cross Timbers Court, was arrested after police, acting on an anonymous tip, found 341 plants in his basement. At maturity, that many plants would yield 170 pounds of marijuana.
Police said they also found high-intensity lights, a dehumidifier, air filters, water pumping systems, lighting timers, a carbon dioxide system and a ventilation system, all of which can be used in growing the plants.
Baltimore Police confirmed that Unni worked for the agency as a crime lab technician from 2003 until January 2006.
Unni pleaded guilty in October and has a sentencing hearing set for Jan. 10.
According to Kirwan, prosecutors have requested five years in prison, with all but one year suspended, meaning Unni would serve one year.