Pot houses were like factories - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pot houses were like factories

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Men burglarize defunct Holley School

    Men burglarize defunct Holley School

    Monday, April 21 2014 10:36 AM EDT2014-04-21 14:36:24 GMT
    Sylvester Police arrested two men for stealing items from a Sylvester school that closed several years ago. Lt. Ronnie Graddy of the Sylvester Police Department says that late Friday afternoon, Lt. TracyMore >>
    Lt. Ronnie Graddy of the Sylvester Police Department says that late Friday afternoon, Lt. Tracy Jones noticed a red pick-up truck backed up to the old Holley Elementary School building, on Carter Road in Sylvester.More >>
  • Americus runner back in Boston

    Americus runner back in Boston

    Monday, April 21 2014 7:06 AM EDT2014-04-21 11:06:25 GMT
    One of the thousands of runners participating in the marathon today comes from Southwest Georgia, Charlene Pennymon. She's returning to Boston to win another title but also give hope to others. @ ThisMore >>
    One of the thousands of runners participating in the marathon today comes from Southwest Georgia, Charlene Pennymon. She's returning to Boston to beat her current record but also give hope to others. More >>
  • Thomasville woman celebrates 100th Birthday

    Thomasville woman celebrates 100th Birthday

    Sunday, April 20 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-04-20 21:57:34 GMT
    A Thomasville woman is celebrating her 100th birthday. Irene Manning celebrates her 100th Birthday today. Friends and family threw her a birthday party at Cherokee Lake in Thomasville. Her grandson saysMore >>
    A Thomasville woman is celebrating her 100th birthday. Irene Manning celebrates her 100th Birthday today. Friends and family threw her a birthday party at Cherokee Lake in Thomasville. Her grandson saysMore >>

July 3, 2007

Lee County -- Investigators say the two houses in Hunter's Ridge and Southwood on the Kinchafhoonee subdivisions were marijuana factories.  Rooms were set up to start the sprigs, grow the plants, dry them, and cut them for sale. 

A rack full of clothes hangers, drying marijuana hangs inside the bedroom of one of two Lee County homes.  Marijuana residue litters the hallway and living room coffee table.  Each home is set up like an individual marijuana factory.

"The whole house is devoted to it, even the bathtub," said Lee County Sheriff's Col. Duane Sapp.

Each house had a room for sprigs, the cuttings from mature plants, basically to clone the plants and sustain the operation.  The plants were well cared for, given the best light, plant nutrients, and water to grow.  

"He's going to suspend the light so that he can get it as close to the plant as possible and then as they get bigger he's going to move the light up the plants will grow towards the light, naturally, because marijuana loves sunlight," said Col. Sapp. 

With foil on the walls to reflect the lights, windows were blacked out with bags.  If not, neighbors might have seen the thousand watt lights comparable to stadium lights that created a hefty utility bill. "Real high, some of the bills were over $600," said Sapp. 

Investigators won't tell us who paid those utility bills. The super grow environment included putting the plants on a platform to continuously pump water and fertilizer to them.  Fans also distribute CO2 to stimulate growth and production.

"Right there is the, he was actually out of CO2 at this house, but these hoses, these black hoses would go to the back of the fan and blow the CO2 over the plants because plants, they breathe in CO2," said Sapp.

They also found fertilizer grow formulas, bags ready for distribution with client names at the top, and a container of scraps, laced with pesticide to give it weight.  It could have been sold as trash weed and while it wouldn't have brought as high of a price, it's certainly more dangerous if smoked because of the pesticide. 

One of the homes also contained an air filter device to try to filter some of the smell so neighbors wouldn't become suspicious. 

The four who have been arrested are realtor Scott Renfroe, insurance agent Ray Moody, Frank Spring, and his companion Kimberly Etheridge.

And we need to correct something we reported yesterday. We were told by investigators that Frank Spring was an installer for ADT Security Systems; however, ADT says he does not nor has he ever worked for them.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has now been called in to help with the investigation into that huge marijuana growing operation in Lee County. The Sheriff says this is a far reaching drug ring and more arrests are likely.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=PotInvestigation/JE

Powered by WorldNow