An active indoor marijuana grow operation was discovered in Macon County last week, when the Bohanon Lane residence of 28-year-old Pedro Martin was raided, as part of a widespread multiple agency investigation across several Middle Tennessee counties, that led to 11 arrests.
According to Mike Thompson (Sarge), Director of the 15th Judicial Drug Task Force, a large scale organized drug trafficking operation involving the cultivation and distribution of high grade marijuana had been under a joint investigation for two years in Middle Tennessee, and his agency became involved when one of the targets was in his jurisdiction in Macon County.
One report alleged that co-conspirators involved set up indoor marijuana grow operations in parts of rural Middle Tennessee and later the harvested product was distributed in Nashville and other areas in this region.
“Pedro Martin had been living at the Bohanon Lane residence, off Jimtown Road, in Macon County for about a year,” said Director Thompson. “When the search warrants were executed on his property on Wednesday, June 15, we discovered a large sophisticated indoor marijuana grow operation in a separate building behind a privacy fence.”
“A grow like we recovered on Bohanon Lane is capable of providing in excess of several hundred thousand dollars of product a year,” added Thompson.
Seized on Bohanon Lane were 52 plants, processed marijuana, and a large amount of cash.
On Wednesday, eleven individuals, including Pedro Martin of Macon County, were arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana and booked into the Davidson County Jail.
According to a release by the TBI, more than a dozen search warrants were executed simultaneously last Wednesday. Searches were conducted in Davidson, Lewis, Sumner, Macon, Cannon, Bedford, Putnam, DeKalb and White Counties. Among the multiple agencies involved in the investigation and search warrant executions were Metro Nashville Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Drug Task Forces with the 15th, 16th, 17th, 21st and 22nd Judicial Districts, along with several sheriffs’ departments, and the Governor’s Task Force on Marijuana Eradication.
The release also said that other indoor grow operations were found in Lewis, DeKalb and White Counties. A total of 320 plants were recovered and seized on Wednesday and the street value of the high-grade marijuana was estimated at more than $560,000.
TBI Director Mark Gwyn stated, “The sophistication and danger of indoor grow operations like this demonstrate the complexity of what’s involved in these organizations. It takes the collaboration and persistence of law enforcement agencies, and we want those involved in the production and distribution to know they’re not going to get away with it.”
Drug Investigation Division Assistant Director T.J. Jordan added, “This is a sophisticated organization with the goal of operating covertly, producing and trafficking high-grade marijuana, and making money at the expense of Tennessee citizens.”