Local News

In-Home Marijuana Operation Busted

Posted October 24, 1997

— They say he was a nice man and a good neighbor, but what they didn't know was that he was running a major marijuana plant inside his Chatham County apartment. Police say the bust was rather out of the ordinary.

Police say the quality of marijuana grown inside tends to be better than that of outdoor-grown pot. Homegrown marijuana brings a higher price as well, they say.

The operation they busted Friday is one of the most sophisticated the Chatham County Sheriff's Department has ever seen. Sheriff Donald Whitt says a find like that is very rare.

The second floor of the apartment police found a marijanna plant in every section, at least five different chemical nutrients for growing, a room for each stage of the plants, and a color coded system using thumb tacs for identifying different kinds of plants. There was also a variety of equipment used to grow the plants.

The man officers arrested is James Ray Stone who has lived in the apartment for about 4 years. Stone says he always new this day might come.

A neighbor of nine years said she was surprised to find out Stone had been growing the plants.

Stone faces charges of manufacturing and growing, manufacturing for the purpose of sale, and possession of marijuana.

Officers say they found a similar operation in the apartment next door to Stone's. The investigation into that operation continues.

Reporter:Wisdom Martin Photographer:Mark Copeland

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