Lee County drug bust shuts down major marijuana operation - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lee County drug bust shuts down major marijuana operation

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July 2, 2007

Leesburg -- Two prominent businessmen remain in jail in the largest marijuana bust in Lee County history.

Real estate agent Scott Renfroe and Insurance Agent Ray Moody are said to be at the heart of a huge indoor-marijuana growing operation.

Investigators say houses were bought in upper class neighborhoods, then used as pot houses where millions of dollars worth of the drug was grown.

 If this looks like your drug of choice, don't go looking for it in Lee County. Over two million dollars of marijuana is now off the streets, evidence seized by Lee County Drug Units in the largest drug bust in Lee County history.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office zeroed in on this multi-million dollar drug operation.

"We knew we had something going on. Of course the sheriff getting information the way he does, we put it all together and were finally able to make it happen," says Col. Duane Sapp, investigator with Lee County Sheriffs Office.

The investigation focused on two Lee County homes. Investigators say this vacant house in the Hunter's Ridge subdivision on Old Leesburg Road and another house on Bright Water Drive, off Pinewood Road, were operation hubs for the large-scale pot growing operation.

Both of the houses were for sale and listed with real estate agent Scott Renfroe.

When Lee County deputies raided the houses over the weekend, this is what they discovered - entire bedrooms filled with hundreds of marijuana plants.

Evidence that lead authorities to arrest Scott Renfroe, and Ray Moody. Also arrested is Frank Spring, and his companion, Kimberly Etheridge. The four are charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, manufacturing marijuana, and trafficking in marijuana.

"They had an operation that was unbelievable with the procedures they used to grow it with," says Lee County Sheriff Harold Breeden.

Procedures that included the use CO2 tanks, potting soil, and other cultivating equipment. Police also confiscated thousands of dollars in cash and five vehicles as well as two motorcycles belonging to the four suspects who police say were involved in keeping this high dollar drug operation alive.

I'm standing here around 230 plants that were seized in Friday night's raid. Each of these plants over its lifetime could grow up to two pounds of marijuana. Sold on the streets at $300 an ounce or $4,800 a pound, the street value of all this marijuana is a little over $2.2 million.

Sheriff Harold Breeden says keeping drugs off the streets is one of his top priorities. "Like I told the citizens 19 years ago, we'll work drugs hard, protect our kids and citizens, and we'll continue doing it."

A strong message in the war on drugs. 

Scott Renfroe sells real estate for A-1 Reality in Albany. The Albany Board of Realtors released a statement this afternoon about his arrest.

While the group won't comment specifically, they stated that "Realtors adhere to a strict code of ethics and try our best to be honest and moral citizens."

The Georgia Association of Realtors says Renfroe will not lose his license unless he's convicted.

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