SAVAGE, Md. (WJZ) — A major drug operation running out of a home daycare. Police find drugs and guns inside the Howard County house.

The owner is now facing serious drug charges.

Meghan McCorkell explains how the operation stayed secret until now.

Police say an anonymous tip led them to the daycare center, where they found a sophisticated marijuana grow operation.

For the past year, parents have dropped their children off at this Savage home–a licensed daycare center. But it’s what police say David Anderson, 31, built underneath the house that’s got neighbors in shock.

“We had no idea this was going on,” said Norma Neimiller, neighbor.

Investigators say a secret room was specifically built to grow marijuana.

“It was pretty clear to our detectives that this was a large-scale operation that he was running,” said Sherry Llewellyn, Howard County Police.

That room had special insulation, an elaborate electrical system, high intensity lighting and a ventilation system to mask the odor. During a raid, detectives found baggies of drugs all over the house. And that’s not all.

“We were especially concerned when we executed a search warrant at the house and found loaded weapons and ammunition inside the house as well,” said Llewellyn.

Police say they also found multiple firearms inside the backyard shed. That’s the same backyard where the daycare children played.

“If one of the kids had gone over there and found the guns, who knows what would have happened,” said Neimiller.

Neighbors say they can’t believe this was happening here.

“These are mostly young families and nice people, so it was surprising and scary to think about,” said neighbor Karen Mattingly.

David Anderson is now charged with manufacturing, production and distribution of marijuana.

Anderson is likely to face even more charges. He has been released on $35,000 bond.

State officials say the daycare center is licensed to Anderson’s fiancee. That license has now been suspended.

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