Three arrested in multi-county indoor marijuana bust - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Three arrested in multi-county indoor marijuana bust

June 11, 2008

Terrell County-  A Sumter EMC meter reader stumbled onto a marijuana growing operation in Terrell County.

As many as 1,000 pot plants may be recovered in the two county operation. Three people are charged with manufacturing marijuana.

Wednesday, investigators searched two Terrell County homes and a third in Randolph County.

A helicopter scoured the area around this Melton Mill Road Terrell County home, looking for signs of an outside marijuana grow. When a power company employee made a call yesterday he found more than a problem with the home's meter.

"Once he got out here he saw the meter had been tampered with and he smelled a lot of odor of what he thought was marijuana," said Terrell County Sheriff John Bowens.

He alerted the Terrell County Sheriff's office who sent a deputy to the home, from 25 yards away the agent smelled the same thing the power employee did, that's when the Sheriff got a search warrant and called the GBI.

"He had all the ingredients to grow it such as fertilizer, growing lights, and fans to keep it cool, nice central air conditioning unit, he had everything he needed," said Bowens.

Investigators believe the grow house has been in business at least two years. Agents say the operation was hydroponic, the grow pods are saturated with water in trays that were lined up on pallets. Every room but one, was filled with plants.

"One of the rooms had a bed in it so somebody had been staying here from time to time," said Bowens.

While investigators checked the secluded property from the sky another team also searched a home in Randolph County and a home in Parrott. They say it will take most of the evening to work through another trailer on the Melton Mill Road property that is also filled with plants.

Between the home in Randolph County and the trailer and home in Terrell County, investigators expect to destroy more than a thousand marijuana plants. This is the second multi-house, multi-county operation busted in the last year, but at this point investigators don't believe they're related.

Wednesday authorities arrested, three people, but have not yet released their names. All three are charged with manufacturing marijuana and are being held in the Randolph County Jail.

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