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NEWS RELEASES
Major John Allard, PIO Office, 785-2415, 24-Hour Press Box: 799-2001, Ext. 1100

Four Arrested and $20,000 Worth of Marijuana Seized in Outdoor Growing Operation


An'Drea Black Billy Blackstone Jessie Watts Kenneth Adams


Officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) on Monday, August 5 seized 20 marijuana plants, 3 firearms, and about four pounds of marijuana, with a combined street value of about $20,000 while investigating an outdoor marijuana growing operation on U.S. 378 near Gilbert. Officers arrested three men who ran the outdoor growing operation at their place of residence, as well as a West Columbia woman who does not reside at the property.



Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said NET officers arrested Kenneth Brandon Adams, 28, Jessie Ray Watts, 17, and Billy Joe Blackstone, 31, at their property at 2540 U.S. 378, Gilbert. In addition, NET officers arrested An’Drea La’Von Black, 18, of 430 Bradley Drive, West Columbia. The property includes a home where Adams, Watts, and Blackstone reside as well as outdoor areas of the property where the marijuana growing operation was located.

Officers arrested Adams, Watts, Blackstone, and Black on charges of manufacturing marijuana and possession of drugs with intent to distribute, Metts said. Adams, Watts, Blackstone, and Black are currently being held at the Lexington County Detention Center on bonds totaling $340,000.

At about 3:30 p.m. on Monday, August 5, officers went to the property located on U.S. 378 and found the outdoor marijuana growing operation. A subsequent search warrant on the residence yielded an indoor marijuana growing operation, loose marijuana throughout the residence, as well as three firearms. Officers seized the 20 marijuana plants, approximately four pounds of loose marijuana, and the three firearms.

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.



 


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