Pot-growing equipment donated for vegetable garden

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) -- Equipment and materials once used to grow marijuana in East Tennessee will now be growing vegetables.

The Johnson City Police Department and the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday donated lights, lamps, fans and potting soil seized from a large marijuana growing operation to the Johnson City Parks and Recreation Department and the Sullivan East High School Horticulture Department and Future Farmers of America Club.

U.S. Attorney William C. Killian said the donation means the equipment will no longer fuel the drug trade but will help young people learn constructive pursuits, like gardening.

The equipment was seized from 54-year-old old David Steven Alles, who was sentenced last month to five years in prison for a marijuana growing operation that had multiple sites in Johnson City and Bluff City.

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