Jones County deputies find big pot haul in ‘grow house’

April 15, 2014 

JONES COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE Marijuana raid

A marijuana-growing operation at a house in Jones County may be part of a large-scale pot-cultivating ring that recently landed four Cuban nationals in jail.

Jones County Sheriff Butch Reece said a Tuesday raid at a house on Luke Smith Road about eight miles south of Gray netted more than 100 marijuana plants.

Workers for a utility company reported that several transformers in the area had blown, and they were suspicious about the house in the 600 block of Luke Smith, Reece said.

Sheriff’s investigators found windows boarded up, and on Tuesday they searched the house.

Reece said the smell of the green plants was sour, almost overwhelming.

“When you opened the door, you knew what you were walking into,” he said.

Reece said his deputies expected to make at least one arrest in connection with the so-called “grow house.” He added that an electrical bill may link the alleged operation to another one that was busted in February.

In that bust, authorities in Houston County arrested members of what prosecutors called “The Padron Organization,” seizing nearly 400 marijuana plants worth almost $4 million.

Four Cuban nationals were later indicted on racketeering and drug charges. In that case, pot-growing houses were also found in Peach and Crawford counties, investigators said.

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