More arrests made in Lee Co. marijuana growing operation - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

More arrests made in Lee Co. marijuana growing operation

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January 17, 2008

Lee County-  Another indoor marijuana grow operation is taken down, this time in Franklin, North Carolina and it is linked to the original Lee County operation.

A Worth County man and an Albany woman with connections to the ring leader Frank Spring are facing federal charges and Lee County Sheriff Harold Breeden says this case isn't over.

Ninety marijuana plants uprooted from inside a Franklin, North Carolina home are now evidence at the Lee County Sheriff's office. With it more grow lights and fertilizers, guns, and cash, virtually what was found inside two Lee County homes just seven months ago.

"Identical. The exact same scenario," said Lee County Sheriff Harold Breeden.

Thirty one year old Brian Thomas Klein of Worth County and 35 year old Rachel Charlene Matre of Albany face federal charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. It was just days after the Lee County operation was busted that word got out about the Franklin operation.

"It was information received from the informants, they were involved in it also," said Breeden.

It's taken time to get enough evidence, but when investigators did they wasted little time in taking down the operation. Sheriff Breeden Friday issued a warning to others, turn yourselves because it's just a matter of time.

"That would be the wise thing to do, go ahead and give me a call and turn themselves in," said Breeden.

With help from the GBI, DEA, and other federal agencies, investigators will go after similar evidence, wherever it leads.

"I just don't think they thought we'd go that far, you know, out of state, but they were wrong. We've been to Florida a couple time you know," said Breeden.

Investigators don't plan to let up, until the entire operation is dismantled.

Last week we told you about the re-arrest of Weyman Harris and a federal complaint filed against Henry Pouliot after federal authorities again found marijuana in Harris' Peachtree Street home. Both were indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday.

Sheriff Harold Breeden said when they busted the initial two homes, investigators had no idea they would be taking down a multi-county, three state operation. It started with four arrests at two homes on Fowler Drive and Brightwater Road June 30th. Over the next several weeks investigators would find more plants and grow equipment in three homes in Terrell County. That lead them to ring leader Dean Slaymaker's home in Dougherty County and to Atlanta and Panama City and Tallahassee Florida.

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