Two arrested so far in Dawson raid - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Two arrested so far in Dawson raid

July 10, 2007


Dawson -- It's the second marijuana operation to be raided in Terrell County in three days. Two Dawson men are jailed, charged with manufacturing marijuana.

The GBI says the growing operation had been moved from the Cinderella Lane home, but evidence left behind was enough to lead investigators to believe the operation had at least 100 plants and was worth about a half million dollars. The GBI also said the bust is related to a similar bust in Sasser Saturday.

Neighbors along Cinderella Lane Southeast in Dawson can't believe a home on their street is the latest link in a marijuana growing operation. Neighbor L. G. Willis rarely saw the homeowner Chuck Payne. "Just once in a great while, you'd see him come out front and one day last week, I saw him out there mowing."

Recently however there'd been a lot of activity at the home. "There was a U-Haul trailer backed up there and it stayed there a couple of days or longer, and I saw a van back up over there and the back of it was up and I saw people going and coming," said Willis.

Investigators raided the home last night, but say the grow operation they expected to find had been moved.

"We found some marijuana leaves and some other things that are indicative of a grow operation," said GBI Special Agent Mike Lewis.

The homeowner Chuck Payne and Richard Rouse were arrested while loading a truck. Payne can be linked to the grow operation on Peachtree Street in Sasser, but investigators won't spell out the connection. They also won't talk about a potential link between the Terrell County busts and the busts in Lee County, just that these operations aren't as unusual as you may think.

 "They're actually not that uncommon, there's not a lot of enforcement effort put into this sort of thing because with our meager resources, we're after cocaine and the Meth and harder drugs, but certainly when we have information on indoor grows we're going to act on it," said Lewis.

Investigators say that's why they rely on tips from the community to put a stop to these types of organizations.

The GBI believes they're finding more inside growing operations since air surveillance operations busted many outside growing operations several years ago. Both Chuck Payne and Richard Rouse remain in the Terrell County Jail.

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