Charges are pending following discovery and seizure of “elaborate” marijuana growing equipment Saturday in Hardy County worth an estimated $50,000, according to West Virginia State Police at the Moorefield/Petersburg detachment. A search warrant executed Saturday evening at a residence within the Meadow Hills subdivision in Baker led to seizure of 54 marijuana plants located near the dwelling and cultivation equipment outside the residence and in a shed on the property. In addition, police found “an elaborate hydroponic grow system” that consisted of lighting, ventilation and automatic watering equipment and electrical components.
Investigators also seized 100 marijuana plants in the grow room of the residence. Value of the plants was placed at $250,000. The warrant was executed by Tfc. D.G. Lanham after he received information from the Troop 2 Marijuana Eradication Team, which had flown over the area to locate the marijuana plants. Earlier in the week, an anonymous tip led state police to a residence in the 1100 block of Tear Coat Road in Petersburg. Eradication team members assisted by Army National Guard RAID Team helicopters reportedly observed 20 marijuana plants on the property.
A consent search by Trooper N.E. Higginbotham assisted by Senior Trooper C.S. Hartman led to discovery of an additional 5.5 ounces of processed marijuana. Police arrested Steven Hemperly at the scene on charges of drug violations. On Monday, police arrested Gilbert Mooney and John Mooney during a raid of a residence in the 2100 block of Upper Skaggs Run Road in Baker following an anonymous tip. A consent search of the property led to discovery and seizure of 20 marijuana plants and a “growing chamber” consisting of lights, a timer and forced air ventilation. A large quantity of processed marijuana and additional equipment were seized. Gilbert and John Mooney were arrested at the scene on drug violations, police said.
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