Narcotics agents with the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force converged on a Rhodwin Place Condominiums Tuesday afternoon and found a three-stage indoor growing facility with more than 600 marijuana plants.
A man and woman were arrested at another location and held in connection with the raid. The names of the suspects are not being released pending a Blount County Grand Jury hearing at a later date.
The plants were in various stages of growth in the different rooms of the apartment. High-powered grow lights were attached to the ceiling. In the front bedroom, agents opened a window and bystanders could see rows of 8-inch pots filled with marijuana plants. After agents were told the female resident recently used a garden cart they found in the apartment to take several garbage bags to the apartment complex dumpster, agents pulled bags filled with what appeared to be seedlings and trimmings out of the Dumpster.
Investigators with the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force, with the assistance of Blount County Sheriff’s deputies and the Maryville Police Department, seized more than 603 plants in all stages of growth, from saplings to fully mature plants and several pounds of harvested marijuana, along with a multitude of accessories used in the grow. The marijuana plants were found in several rooms of the apartment.
The Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force has been investigating this case for approximately two weeks. A search warrant was executed Tuesday afternoon after a Blount County Sheriff’s K-9 team hit on a scent around the outside of the apartment, and investigators recognized the odor of marijuana emanating from the apartment. The residents were not at the apartment at the time of the search warrant.
Agents said the street value of the marijuana cannot be determined, as the marijuana plants were in various stages of growth. The estimated street value of a mature plant is $1,000.
During the course of the investigation, the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force was assisted by several other agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the Maryville Police Department.
The investigation into the case continues.