Local News

Sampson County Deputies Bust Marijuana Lab

Posted August 22, 2007

— Deputies executing a search warrant discovered a clandestine marijuana laboratory and seized around $600,000 worth of plants and equipment at a Sampson County home.

The Sampson County Sheriff's Office received an anonymous tip in March, and a National Guard helicopter flying over the home spotted marijuana plants growing on the property, officials said.

The sheriff's Special Investigations Division executed a search warrant Monday at the home of George Claven Melton, Jr., 44, at 11005 Harrells Highway in Harrells.

Agents found one marijuana lab in a tractor-trailer behind the home and a second in one of Melton's bedrooms.

Officers also seized more than 160 marijuana plants that they said had a street value of $425,000. They also recovered equipment, weapons and growing supplies worth around $175,000.

Officers also made what they called a very unusual discovery – three frozen rattlesnakes in a deep freezer.

"It's obvious that we have turned up the heat on drug dealers in Sampson County. They are being forced to find creative ways to conceal their illicit activity," Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thorton said.

"As long as they continue to find ways to participate in illegal activity, we'll continue to find ways to bring them to justice," Thorton said.

Melton was charged with manufacturing marijuana and was being held in the Sampson County Detention Center under a $50,000 bond set by Magistrate Kevin Ellis.

"My officers ... have spent hundreds of man-hours conducting surveillance and performing follow-up investigative work to bring Mr. Melton to justice, and I'm proud of them," Thorton said.


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  • carson01 Aug 23, 2007

    A Marijuana “Lab” huh? So did it have lots of bunson burners, test tubes, pipettes, and bubbling liquid concoctions? Any people in white coats running around? What a strange choice of a word to describe growing marijuana indoors. Perhaps a bit inflammatory.

  • NothingBetterToDo Aug 23, 2007

    ncgreenacres - you sound like a "hot pead" lololol!!!!

  • ncgreenacres Aug 23, 2007

    "i know to many people killed over just weed only and i have had at least 5 friends that after 2-3 years smoking weed they "needed" something stronger"...i mean no disrespect but how many people do u know that were killed over just weed & HOW were they killed? i have lived green for 33 yrs...1st of all pot is not a drug,, but a natural substance, it is not a gateway...if a person is an addictive personality they will become addicted, whatever their drug of choice, coke, crack, ALCOHOL, etc. pot is NOT addictive nor does it cause harm to others. i am college educated, have raised 2 kids, & am employed as a csr in a highly professional field. i know hundreds of ppl who smoke pot, rarely do they drive while high...it just ruins a good buzz. it is wrong to drive while impaired by ANY substance.....All law enforcement needs to be using manpower & $$ arresting criminals who victimize children in any way, people who commot violent crimes, illegal aliens, etc...pot is a victimless crime.

  • NCJB Aug 23, 2007

    They need to leave this guy alone. It looks like it was more for personal use than anything else. Marijuana should be legal anyway, and no, it does not lead to harder drugs.

  • ncgreenacres Aug 22, 2007

    uh oh-hit the enter key too soon (nobody's perfect)...was gonna say that i know my last post was rambling but i was trying to get it all in 1000 characters..but since i'm back...i was stating that illegal immigrants need to become citizens, learn English-the official language of our country-& pay taxes...when they follow those procedures they have every right to be here-imho.
    do all of you naysayers think about how many musicians & actors poke smot? we listen to them & watch them on our airwaves & pay millions to be entertained by them...
    anyone who wishes to criticize my grammar, punctuation, syntax, et al...have at it..i'm more than happy to provide entertainment 4 u...but maybe u need to LIGHTEN UP!!
    here's a thought-the gov't needs 2 do a study to see if chronic smokers have a lower incidence of glaucoma ;)
    also-from a relative who is employed by nc dept of revenue-persons who sell pot are supposed to pay tax on it-they sell marijuana tax stamps at NCDOR ..this IS NOT a joke!

  • NZ Aug 22, 2007


    At the END OF THE DAY when we don't have enough fuel to run prisons, the war, traffic jams and everything else. When the government won't be able to feed us because we set our selves up for the biggest mass die off known to man, I'll be protected and a wealthy cannabis farmer myself.

    Incarcerating this man is a waste of resources, we need to loosen up on the herb and save more resources by speeding up executions on pedophiles.

    Sampson County still hasn't found that little boy which is missing but they sure can harass this man to confiscate his things. I guess harassing cannabis farmers pays more than looking for lost children?

  • RIP- Yogi Bear Aug 22, 2007

    Notty and Jason- The "your momma" stuff went out about 20 yrs ago.

  • ludie007 Aug 22, 2007

    For those of you that actually want to DO something about this heinous situation (the laws, not Mr. Melton's hygiene), go to:


    get informed, sign the petition, donate, whatever...

    sadly, i think they'd be more effective if they weren't run by potheads...

    good luck to all,

  • pomodoroz Aug 22, 2007

    Remember kiddies, marijuana does not make you irrational or irritable. It improves your ability to spell and maintain your emotional stability. Read these posts and learn more.

  • knotty Aug 22, 2007

    Uh, locate your shift lock key?