Authorities busted an indoor operation with an estimated $220,000 worth of high-grade marijuana growing inside Wednesday on Poss Road.
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, agents of the TBI and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force executed search warrants at 1117 Poss Road while a Governor’s Task Force on Marijuana Eradication helicopter flew over of the property.
According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, 44 plants up to 7 ½ feet tall and 3 ½ feet wide were found in a metal barn. He said the plants were capable of producing as much as five pounds of pot per plant at an estimated street value of $2,500 per pound.
“The growers had a watering, grow light, chemicals, and fertilizing system installed in the barn and they were stealing electricity from Caney Fork Electric Cooperative to power the operation,” the sheriff said. “In an environment such as this, plants can produce up to four times a year. The grower cuts the buds off and regrows the buds. Out of the plants we found Wednesday, that’s nearly a million dollars a year if each plant produced as much as five pounds.”
No one was found at the location at the time of the bust, but arrests were reportedly made later, as the operation in DeKalb was apparently part of a larger investigation, in which 11 arrests were made and 320 pot plants were seized across Middle Tennessee. On Wednesday, eleven individuals were arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and booked into the Davidson County Jail, including the man apparently listed as owner of the property at 1117 Poss Road, Alexis Ravelo, 51, of Madison.
Others arrested were:
•Carlos Hernandez Landerio, 25, Hohenwald
•Luis Orlando Rego, Jr, 32, Shelbyville
•Luis Orlando Rego, Sr, 54, Madison
•Holly Furlough, 23, Madison
•Nelson A Perez, 43, Antioch
•Pedro Martin, 28, Lafayette
•Hector Ruiz, 28, Antioch
•Israel Martinez, 58, Bloomington Springs
•Humberto Perez, 28, Antioch
•Luis Lopez, 25, Antioch
More than a dozen search warrants were executed simultaneously Wednesday morning. Searches were conducted in Davidson, Lewis, Sumner, Macon, Cannon, Bedford, Putnam, DeKalb and White counties. A TBI news release said that active indoor grow operations were found in Lewis, Macon, DeKalb and White counties.
Of the 320 marijuana plants seized, 224 were found in Lewis County, 52 in Macon County, and 44 in DeKalb County. About 15 pounds of the marijuana, valued about $37,500, and multiple weapons were found in one of the Davidson County locations. Three guns were found in the Bedford County location, and a total of more than $140,000 in cash was seized from multiple sites.
If you should have information on any other suspected indoor marijuana grow operation in DeKalb County, Sheriff Ray advises you to contact the Sheriff’s Department.