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Marijuana case: Evidence being analyzed by TBI

Marijuana case: Evidence being analyzed by TBI
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
In the nearly two weeks since the Obion County Sheriff’s Department discovered a multi-million dollar marijuana operation west of Hornbeak, there has been an intense investigation taking place behind the scenes.
The investigation has shifted from gathering and documenting evidence from the site to finding out who was involved in growing the estimated 362,000 marijuana plants — valued at an estimated $434 million.
Evidence from the marijuana growing site is being analyzed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is one of several agencies involved in the investigation.
“Evidence that was collected at the scene is still being processed and analyzed,” Chief Deputy Kent Treece told The Messenger today.
Law enforcement officials have thoroughly gone over the roughly 10-acre site where the marijuana growing operation was set up.
“We’ve already interviewed several people in connection with this case,” Treece said. “The interview process is still ongoing.”
It is believed about six individuals had been living at the site based on the discovery of primitive living quarters that included a kitchen area, beds and shower facilities. The kitchen area had a makeshift countertop covered with food products and there was also a propane stove set up to cook food.
The operation was set up in a heavily wooded area about three miles west of Hornbeak. A majority of the marijuana plants were being cultivated in relatively small patches scattered throughout the woods and up the sides of hills. There were generators and an extensive irrigation system set up and the growers also used fertilizer on the marijuana plants.
Set up on top of the hills above the living quarters were several large drying stations for the marijuana plants.
“The investigation is still very active and ongoing at this point and involves several agencies,” Treece said.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 10.21.11

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