Update: 3 charged in underground pot bust
CHATTOOGA COUNTY, GA. (WRCB) -- The people who live on Mill Village Rd. in Lyerly had no idea dozens of marijuana plants were growing nine feet below ground in a complex and sophisticated grow house.
"Never seen anything like it," says Sheriff John Everett. " They went through a lot of work, a lot of trouble, spent a lot of money."
The 9 X 11 subterranean grow house took five months to build. A single ladder led officers to the room which had a ventilation system and a complex water system with a sub pump.
"You'd go in and they had a TV down there, they had power, they had the water in operation," Everett says.
Officers seized 93 marijuana plants, four guns and tore down everything used to grow. "Each plant is capable of producing anywhere from 1 to 2 pounds," Everett says.
At $2,000 a pound the street value is close to $190,000. Jeffery and Steven Stallings along with Regina Gresham are charged with marijuana manufacturing and trafficking.
T.W. Lovelock lives across the street. He says the trio has lived in the home for more than a decade but he's never noticed anything out of the ordinary. "When all the sheriff's showed up, obviously something is going on but aside from that, no never suspected anything," Lovelock says.
Officers say that's because they did everything they could to keep their grow operation underground and under radar. "They were hauling the dirt up in 5 gallon buckets and then taking it off in a truck," says Everett.
"We never seen a dirt truck before, nobody knows where it went," says Lovelock.
The trio is in custody at the Chattooga County Jail. The sheriff's department says an anonymous tip led to the bust.