Major indoor pot grow busted
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 12:02 pm
A major indoor marijuana grow was shut down in Readyville thanks to the Cannon County Sheriff's Office.
Arrested were Ivan Garcia Morales (aka Ivan Garcia) along with Rolando Bejerano Morales, both of Bradyville. Both men were charged with manufacturing, sale and delivery of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a dwelling to use/keep and sell narcotics and theft over $10,000.
Cannon County Sheriff's investigators were tipped off about the operation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's anti-drug unit.
A TBI special agent had begun investigating the actions of "Cubans growing marijuana in large, sophisticated indoor growing operations" built inside metal buildings. During a TBI raid, a land tax document for the Readyville property was discovered.
On Aug. 26, Gullett and Investigator Chris Brown launched an investigation into the Tassey Road address and Ivan Garcia.
When Gullett and Brown drove by the Tassey Road address the officers noticed a strong scent of raw marijuana.
A helicopter fly-over was conducted the following morning as Counter Drug Unit officers continued their stake-out.
A search warrant was served on Rolando Morales, who was discovered on the property.
Gullett opened a second door "and observed an entire room of lights and marijuana plants in large black pots. The room was set up with irrigation, air ducts, water pump, heat lamps, fans and an electrical board, unlike anything I had encountered."
A second room was arranged like the first but was not in use at the time. However, a pile of 400 to 500 marijuana stalks were discovered along with a machine used to strip the plants.
In another, smaller room two large HVAC air conditioning units were found. Additional marijuana plants were discovered as well.
Once the electric meter was removed by MTE workers, power to the building continued to run.
"The members of this operation had spliced into the power supply prior to the meter and was stealing electricity. MTEC then cut the power off at the transformer and killed all power," Gullett said.
Middle Tennessee Electric officials later dropped off an official report totaling the amount of electricity stolen.
The report indicated that $14,400 worth of power had been taken illegally, which over a 10-month basis equaled $1,400 a month, Gullett said.