A week ago, Narcotics Detectives from the Watauga County Sheriffs Office executed a search warrant on a suspected Marijuana Growing Operation after information was received of large amounts of Marijuana being cultivated in Deep Gap. Detectives executed the search warrant on the property of 270 Joe Greer Road, Deep Gap, which was a large factory building. Detectives discovered half of the factory was used as a business; the other half was used to cultivate Marijuana. Inside, Detectives seized a total of 93 Marijuana plants from the indoor grow operation, 32 plants fully mature and ready for harvest. 61 Marijuana plants were at different stages of growth, ranging from 3 inches to 4 feet. The Marijuana was being cultivated through a sophisticated system using grow lamps, ballasts to regulate the power, timers to control the amount of heat the plants were using, fans to circulate the air, and air filters to mask the smell of the plants. The seized Marijuana plants had a total weight of 31 lbs., the release saying that a fully mature Marijuana plant can produce anywhere from ½ lbs to 1 lb of actual Marijuana bud. With a total of 93 plants, this grow could have potentially yielded approximately 46 - 93 lbs of Marijuana. With a typical pound of Marijuana is sold for $4,500, the seized plants could have potentially made $207,000 - $418,500.
Abrham Shaki, 58, of 2316 Cranberry Springs Rd, Fleetwood, was charged with Trafficking in Marijuana by Manufacture, Trafficking in Marijuana by Possession, Manufacture Marijuana, Possession With Intent to Manufacture, Sell, or Deliver Marijuana, Maintaining a Dwelling for Controlled Substances, and Possession Drug Paraphernalia. Shaki was taken to the Watauga County Detention Facility in lieu of a $10,000. He is scheduled to appear in District Court on July 30th.
- Written by Steve Frank