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FF Trades Turnout Gear for Turncoat in Pot-Growing Investigation

New York Daily News via YellowBrix

August 25, 2010

QUEENS, NY – A Queens firefighter traded in his turnout gear for a turncoat Tuesday and fingered a fellow Bravest as the brains behind a massive pot-growing operation.

Matthew Cody, who pleaded guilty to drug charges, admitted he’s hoping to avoid prison time by testifying against Patrick Murray, whom he worked with at Engine 292 in Woodside.

Murray also took the stand and denied any role in the hydroponic marijuana farm. He claimed federal drug agents nabbed him because he couldn’t help their investigation.

“I was so scared. I’ve never had a gun put in my face before,” Murray said of the day he was arrested outside a house owned by Cody, where more than 100 marijuana plants were growing in the basement.

Murray testified in Brooklyn Federal Court that he was only at the house to help Cody with renovations in the basement.

The drug scheme evolved out of the renovations, according to Cody.

The plan to convert the basement to a rental apartment went awry when the two not-so-handymen couldn’t install plumbing.

That’s when Murray came up with the pot plan, Cody said: “We just basically said it would make up for the $700 a month I wasn’t getting for rent.”

If Murray is convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum jail term of five years.