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Sheriff's department busts marijuana grow op

Sara McManamy-Johnson • Updated Oct 2, 2013 at 6:01 PM

A Lebanon man faces multiple charges after Wilson County Sheriff’s Department investigators found a large-scale marijuana grow operation Tuesday.

Investigators found 120 marijuana plans growing in the back of Johnny M. Williams’ roughly 40-acre property on Locust Grove Road.

“It was a pretty large amount of plants,” said Sheriff Robert Bryan. “We don’t normally see [marijuana] plants growing like that anymore, like we used to.”

Bryan said investigators found three different plots on the property, as well as about a quarter of a pound of dried marijuana and several marijuana plants hanging in a shed to dry.

“It appears he knew the process,” said Bryan. “He was very knowledgeable.”

Bryan said investigators found fertilizers and a greenhouse.

“It was pretty elaborate…I’d say it’s been going on for a while,” said Bryan.

Investigators found a large amount of money, four vehicles and three watercrafts.

“He was unemployed, from everything we’re seeing,” said Bryan, who also said investigators could find no other means by which he could have supported himself.

Bryan said Williams owns the property.

“It’s been in his family for some time,” said Bryan.

He said the department had been getting complaints at the address, so the department launched an investigation and was able to gather enough information to obtain a search warrant, which they executed Tuesday morning.

Williams, age 50, who has been convicted previously for burglaries, according to Bryan, is charged with manufacture of a schedule-six narcotic and possession of a schedule-six narcotic with intent for resale.

Bryan said Williams may face additional charges when the grand jury convenes next month.

“It’s the hard work of the narcotics unit that makes and develops cases like this,” said Bryan. “They did a heck of a job in building this case and following through with it.”

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