Local News

Authorities seize 80 pounds of marijuana from Johnston County home

Posted June 9, 2016

— Authorities confiscated 80 pounds of marijuana from a home Thursday afternoon on Graham Pond Road in Johnston County.

Multiple truck-loads were needed to haul evidence from the home, which included pipes, pots and boxes that were stuffed with marijuana.

Officials said John Mark Willden, 56, lived at the home and now faces a number of drug related charges.

Willden was charged with manufacturing and trafficking marijuana and stealing $36,000 worth of electricity from his power company.

Investigators told WRAL News that Willden was also in the process of building another house behind his home, which had plans for a secluded basement with a lift system.

Authorities also seized three aircrafts in vary conditions from Willden’s property.

A neighbor, who identified himself as “Perry,” said Willden was “a good guy.”

“Helped him get his house, helped him get his airplanes and things like that. But as far as anything I knew about that he was doing illegal, I didn’t know anything about that.”

Officials said the investigation is ongoing and that more arrests are possible.


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  • David Craft Jun 12, 2016
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    It is time the archaic Reagon adminstration laws were changed and people begin looking at the drug laws and addictions and making appropriate changes...The present laws only give criminal records.

  • William James Jun 10, 2016
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    Does anyone on the planet think that growing or even selling Marijuana merits a 2-3 yr Felony Prison term. Also, its not cheap to convict these guys, its like 20-30K in court, legal, and processing fees and 30K a yr to keep him in prison. Also at 56 he is going to very likely have some medical, dental, or vision needs that we the tax payers get the privilege of paying for! Just saying, its a heavy cost for minor crime! Sure he also stole electricity, but how is sending him to prison going to pay the bill or make it right? Also, with so many states legalizing it, why in the south do we insist on fighting this imaginary war? Just saying, you could take the 120k+ that we are going to spend on this guy and use the money to arrest child molesters, rapist, ID thieves, or the like and that is a better story than this.

  • Perry Masonjar Jun 10, 2016
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    OMG, Paul and I agree on something:) LOL!

  • Perry Masonjar Jun 10, 2016
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    Why are we wasting valuable LE resources on chasing Pot growers. Did we not learn anything from prohibition. Marijuana is a weed from God, pharmaceuticals and alcohol are products of man. I wonder how much the pharmaceutical and alcohol companies paid our politicians?

  • Sean Creasy Jun 10, 2016
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    If you're going to grow dope in NC you shouldn't be stupid!! Stealing large amounts of power is one of the major red flags...

  • Jim Frei Jun 10, 2016
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    Weed is already taxed in North Carolina. But no one pays it.

  • Sam Adams Jun 10, 2016
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    I am sorry we supposedly live in a free nation. In order for that to be true then the government has absolutely no right to tell a grown man or woman how he or she chooses to live their lives. As long as they do not harm anyone else or their property. People should be allowed to grow a plan if they choose to do so. Anything short of that is not true freedom.

    Today, 59% of americans support all out legalization and 89% support legalization of medical cannabis. Its time government officials listen to the people they supposedly serve.

    Its time to legalize freedom in this country.

  • Doug Bogard Jun 10, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Common sense is not our federal governments strongest point.

  • James Hicks Jun 10, 2016
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    "Legalize it and tax it already." Um, no. That's the whole trick they are moving us towards. It's getting us to jump at the promise of paying a new tax. While there is no doubt it should be legalized, it shouldn't be taxed anymore than any other raw, unprepared consumable (That's 2.5% such as for food items). The notion that it should be taxed at 40% is outrageous. Can you imagine paying a 40% tax for tomatoes or avocados? Most people would blow a gasket, but because we've been denied this simple pleasure for so long, we're all dying to pay through the nose for it.

    I say keep it publicly banned (we have enough people acting like maroons in public as it is), but whatever you do in the privacy of your own home is your own business. Those caught in public should face a small ticket like you'd face for tobacco consumption in certain 'restricted' areas. Not that I agree with that either, but hey it's better than a 40% tariff.

  • Paul Hayeze Jun 10, 2016
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    What waste LE, courts, and prison resources....Legalize it and tax it already.