Grundy County, Tenn., Sheriff's Deputy Derrick Morrison watches as a pile of marijuana plants is burned behind the Grundy County Sheriff's Office on Thursday. The harvest was confiscated off Taylor Road near Gruetli-Laager, Tenn., by GCSD, DEA and TBI officers and had a street value of $37 million.Photo by Dan Henry.
GRUETLI-LAAGER, Tenn. — A deputy who was out walking in a remote area near Gruetli-Laager spotted some water hose that led him to several pots with marijuana growing in them and, ultimately, to at least $37 million worth of the plants, according to Grundy County Sheriff Brent Myers.
Myers said this afternoon that the unnamed deputy found the operation Wednesday off of Taylor Road, a one-lane tar and chip road that leads into an area that appeared to have been clear-cut several years ago.
Officers first found 30 to 50 plants and later discovered the rest nearby.
As of late this afternoon about 37,000 plants had been found spread out over the property, many with reservoirs to hold water to hydrate them, the sheriff said.
An electric generator was used to run a pump to fill the reservoirs, he said.
Myers estimated the value of the seized pot at $37 million, and he said it was the largest-ever seizure on a single piece of property in Grundy County.
He said investigators suspect one person and believe others also were involved.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are assisting in the operation, along with a helicopter from the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...