GARY — Three people were arrested Wednesday after police received complaints of a strong pot smell coming from a residence and witnesses reportedly saw them throwing marijuana plants out of an apartment window, according to Lake County police. 

Police were called at about noon Wednesday to the 1700 block of West 47th Avenue for a report that marijuana was possibly being grown at a residence, Lake County Sheriff's Deputy Cmdr. Dan Murchek said in a news release. 

Darian Freda, 19, and Emilio Leho, 20, both of Gary, were arrested, police said. Sydney Lidster, 22, of Griffith, was also arrested.

They were transported to Lake County Jail and booked on probable cause for possession of marijuana with further charges pending, Murchek said. 

Once on scene, Murchek said police could smell "a very strong odor of raw marijuana" from the residence. When the tenants exited, they were stopped by officers, who obtained consent to search the vehicle and residence, he said. 

Inside a blue duffel bag found in the vehicle were plastic bags containing suspected marijuana and a brownish sticky wax that appeared to be THC, police said.

Inside the residence, police found $3,059, a .40-caliber handgun, a jar of half-smoked marijuana and a hand-rolled marijuana cigar, Murchek said. 

Officers seized, in all, the cash and the weapon, along with 10 grams of suspected THC wax, 2.1 pounds of suspected marijuana and 33 marijuana plants. 

Officers were assisted by the Lake County Drug Task Force Unit. Additional charges will be filed with the Lake County prosecutor's office.

In the news release, Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez reminded residents they can anonymously report any criminal or drug activity by calling the Crime Hotline at 1-800-750-2746 or call 911. 

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Public safety reporter

Lauren covers breaking news, crime and courts for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet covering government, public policy, and the region’s heroin epidemic. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.