Photo Gallery | Couple arrested after "sophisticated indoor marijuana growing operation" found on their property
A Lexington County couple was arrested over the weekend after drug officers found a "sophisticated indoor marijuana growing operation" on their property, according to authorities.
Officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) on Friday seized 154 marijuana plants, approximately 15 pounds of marijuana, and six firearms while investigating a possible indoor marijuana growing operation on Gus Sturkie Road near Swansea, authorities said.
The drugs had a combined street value of about $320,000.
Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said NET officers arrested John Steve Tindall, 49, and his 49-year-old wife, Brenda Darlene Tindall, at their property at 980 Gus Sturkie Road. The property includes a home where John and Brenda Tindall reside as well as an old home and building that the couple used for their indoor marijuana growing operation, Metts said.
Officers arrested John Tindall and Brenda Tindall on charges of trafficking in more than 10 pounds of marijuana and possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, Metts said. John Tindall was released from the Lexington County Detention Center on Sunday after he posted bail totaling $60,000. Brenda Tindall was released from the county Detention Center on Saturday after she posted bail totaling $60,000.
At about 12:45 p.m. on Friday, NET officers went to the couple’sproperty in order to investigate information that the Tindalls were operating an indoor marijuana growing operation, Metts said. Officers detected a strong odor of marijuana emanating from an old home and another building on the couple’s property and saw supplies that are used for indoor marijuana growing operations in the yard outside the old home and building, the sheriff said.
Officers executed a search warrant and found the growing operation in the old home and building on the property as well as an operation for packaging marijuana, Metts said. The old home and building contained separate areas for growing marijuana indoors, drying marijuana and packaging marijuana for distribution, according to the sheriff.
Metts asked anyone with information about illegal drug activity in Lexington County to call the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Citizens also can provide information anonymously by accessing the Crime Tip link on the Sheriff’s Department web site (www.lexingtonsheriff.com).
NET is comprised of officers from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Batesburg-Leesville Police Department and Lexington Police Department, Metts said. The sheriff and municipal police chiefs implemented NET in 2001 in order to enhance drug enforcement in Lexington County.