Crimetracker: Monroe County deputies find $30K worth of marijuana

MADISONVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Lonnie Short lives on Scenic River Road in Madisonville and has for 18 years. But something is troubling him:

"I don't like drugs - I just don't," he said.

Just up the road, down an old logging path in the woods, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office found 30 marijuana plants, worth about $30,000.

The plants were each between three and four feet tall. Sheriff Bill Bivens said they don't normally get that high until later in the summer, which means they were likely grown inside first and then moved.

"It appeared that they had been planted and started early so that they'd get a quick start and produce quicker," said Bivens.

Ronald Hagan lives nearby and said drugs are a big problem in the area.

"It don't suprise me at all. Not whatsoever. I've been up here soon to be nine years and it seems like they're busting 10 to 15 meth, and marijuana cases a day," said Hagan.

The sheriff said meth and pills are the biggest drug problems in the county, but said deputies still take marijuana seriously.

"We look at marijuana as - that's where they start. A lot of times, that may be the beginning," said Bivens.

Bivens said he plans to increase patrols in the area, something that gives Short and Hagan peace of mind.

Bivens said whoever was responsible cleared a section of woods to grow the marijuana without it being visible from surrounding roads, so the tip was helpful.

So far, there are no arrests in the case.

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