Underground Pot Growing Operation Busted

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A Cannon County couple was operating a business out of their home. Until last week that is, when they received a knock on the door from the Cannon County Sheriff's Department.

Now they are out of business, and facing serious charges.

Gerry Campbell, 52, and his common law wife, Marilyn Greene, 59, both of 652 Bony Ridge Rd., are each charged with manufacturing marijuana (over 100 plants), being found in possession of marijuana, and maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of manufacturing drugs.

Apparently marijuana growers will go to great lengths to conceal their illegal harvest. They'll even go under their house.

Campbell was arrested late Monday night (Aug. 24) for allegedly operating a hydroponics marijuana growing operation under his home. Estimated value of the marijuana seized is over 1 million dollars.

Marilyn Greene, turned herself in to authorities the next day. She was stopped in Nashville on 22nd Avenue North near Elliston Place on Monday when police found 1/4 lb of hydro marijuana in her vehicle.

Cannon County Sheriff's Detective Captain Charlie Wilder explained that hydroponics is used to grow the marijuana in water instead of soil. "You use water for a media. Sometimes they (growers) will also use artificial soil. It looks like some type of dog food or Coca Puffs on steroids," Wilder said.

An ongoing investigation in Nashville being headed by the TBI led local authorities to the couple's home, Wilder said.

"(Campbell) gave consent to search and a search was conducted of the property and this pretty elaborate system was found downstairs in the basement. The basement was concealed via a hidden door, a trap door, in the kitchen, it was covered by a big throw rug. Deputy Pat Fann is the officer who found that underground operation. Sheriff (Billy) Nichols along with the TBI assisted in the investigation."

Wilder said the size of the underground room in which the marijuana was being grown is approximately 20 feet by 20 feet.

During a special hearing in General Sessions Court on Thursday, Judge Susan Melton entertained a motion by the pair to show the sources of their bond money. Tuesday, Judge Melton put a hold on both defendants following a motion filed by the State of Tennessee to prevent the couple from posting bond until they showed they were not using drug money to get out of jail.

During the hearing Campbell's mother testified the funds used to post the couple's bond would come from her and not Campbell or Greene. After considering the testimony, Judge Melton allowed the two to post bond. Campbell and Greene are both charged with manufacturing marijuana, maintaining a structure to manufacture marijuana and felony possession of drugs following a raid on the couple's home by law enforcement earlier this week.

Both have posted bond since the hearing and will appear in Court again on September 15th.

He said 8.7 pounds of processed marijuana was taken from the house and sent to the TBI for testing. Also confiscated were digital scales, lights, starters, timers, and underground air conditions.
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