Marijuana factory was well-armed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Marijuana factory was well-armed

August 7, 2007

Lee County --  Investigators seized an arsenal from a Panama City home connected to the Lee County pot ring. Among the 18 guns, high powered rifles, shotguns, and handguns with scopes.

Lee County Investigators say these weapons were used for more than just hunting. They've also have a better understanding of how the operation worked, and now say it's likely most will face federal charges for the conspiracy alone.

Eighteen guns were seized from the Fan Palm Place home of Michael Suber in Panama City, Florida. Investigators also confiscated an indoor grow operation similar to what was found in homes in Dougherty, Lee, and Terrell Counties.

"You've got sniper rifles, every kind of rifle and pistol there is and they're all dangerous. I'm just glad we got them off the street," says Lee County Sheriff Harold Breeden.

"Some of these guns are obviously not for hunting, you've got an assault weapon that's set up in a sniper configuration, you've got another assault weapon with a bayonet on it you've got a sawed-off shot gun," said Lee County Sheriff's Col. Duane Sapp.

Sheriff Breeden believes investigators have seized the remaining physical evidence in the case that's included 15 search warrants.

"It just mushroomed out, I never did think we'd have to go to Panama City, and Tallahassee, or even Atlanta, I though it would just be local," Breeden said. 

At the top of the organization, Frank Spring and Kimberly Etheridge. They explained how to set up indoor growing operations for Scott Renfroe, Dean Slaymaker, Michael Suber, Weyman Harris, Riley McDaniel and Roger McDaniel. Each indoor operation had help maintaining the grow. Today Sheriff Breeden also said his investigators confiscated grow materials from commercial storage.

"Some of them were here in Lee County, I think there may have been one in Dougherty County," said Sapp.

With the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the FBI, and the DEA involved, federal charges are expected.

"It's just a matter of when of if they get indicted in the federal system, we feel fairly confident they will, but then that's up to a grand jury to decide ultimately," Sapp says.

Sheriff Harold Breeden says he's just glad these dangerous guns and drugs are off the street.

Michael Suber remains at large. Monday we reported that Roger McDaniel has been arrested in this case. However that is incorrect. McDaniel has not been charged in the case, But 50 marijuana plants were seized from his home.

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