Police chief: Largest marijuana grow operation he's seen

Police chief: Largest marijuana grow operation he's seen

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - Over 30 dried out and dying marijuana plants sit in police custody, as did the man behind the operation, 37-year-old Brian Smith.

According to Pocahontas Police, Smith had been renting a home along Highway 62 in Pocahontas but hadn't paid his rent in months.

"The homeowner had requested us there in reference to the property," Police Chief Cecil Tackett said."He wanted us there to check the property, see what kind of damage there may have been."

Instead of seeing damage inside, Tackett said officers could see and smell marijuana plants as soon as they opened the front door.

Tackett said officers then obtained a search warrant and returned to investigate further.

"We'll recover 2 or 3, half a dozen plants occasionally in a house on a search warrant but this is by far the largest we've seen," Tackett said. "We recovered 37 plants in various stages, some seedlings a couple of inches tall to five foot plants."

Tackett said it was obvious a lot of time, effort and money was put into this.

"The room was set up with grow lights, it had a ventilation system, humidifiers. It was set up quite well," Tackett said.

While Smith's grow operation was found, he wasn't located until days later. Tackett said they were tipped off to Smith's whereabouts and he was taken into custody without incident.

Though Tackett said the plants hadn't produced any marijuana yet, he's glad they could catch it on the front end.

"It just makes our jobs easier, it takes a lot of the product off the street. That was going to produce a lot of product," Tackett said.

Smith has bonded out of jail. He faces two felonies. Pocahontas police have charged him with manufacturing of a schedule VI substance as well as possession of drug paraphernalia.

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