By Jessie Williams
A 34-year-old Lafayette man was arrested earlier this month after law enforcement discovered a marijuana grow operation inside his Old Highway 52 residence.
According to Macon County Detective Jacob McClard, Deputy Josh Meador and Sergeant Jacob Law responded to a call for service on Old Highway 52 on Sunday, May 16.
While on the scene, the officers began hearing gunfire and, after every round, they heard a projectile coming into close proximity of their location.
The officers established a nearby residence they believed the gunfire was coming from. As they approached the home they began to smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside.
After knocking on the door, a male subject identified as 34-year-old Curtis Betty answered and stated that he was shooting an AR-15 rifle upon being questioned.
When asked if he was a convicted felon, Mr. Betty confirmed he was, on felony marijuana charges in Sumner County. Betty also admitted knowing he was not supposed to be in possession of any firearms.
The officers opened the front door and asked anyone inside to exit the house. Three subjects inside then exited the home.
Deputy Jordan Davis arrived on the scene and asked Mr. Betty if there were any other illegal items inside the home. He stated there was “speed” on the kitchen table, and declined consent for officers to search the residence.
Detective McClard was then contacted to assist in obtaining a search warrant.
Officers Davis and Law did enter the residence to make sure no-one else was inside. While clearing the residence, they discovered there was an indoor marijuana grow operation.
Once assuring no-one else was inside, the officers then exited the residence until the search warrant was issued and on the scene.
When the search warrant was signed and executed, officers discovered approximately 30 marijuana plants in different stages of growth, grow lights, incubators, chemicals and approximately 4.8 grams of a crystallized substance believed to be methamphetamine.
The AR-15 was located in a gun safe along with two handguns and drug paraphernalia.
An undisclosed amount of cash was also seized from the residence. Mr. Betty did admit that all of the items belonged to him.
He was charged with manufacture of narcotics, manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of a weapon, simple possession of a schedule VI drug and possession of a firearm during a violent felony. His bond was set at $150,000, and he is scheduled to appear in general sessions court on July 28, 2021.