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MACE bust finds high-powered pot

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POSTED: December 2, 2008 5:00 a.m.
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The so-called purple haze marijuana is apparently named for the color of its mature leafs.

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Nov. 1
After a few arrests within the past few months, the Multi Agency Crack Enforcement Drug Task Force conducted another sting and wound up arresting six people for pimping and prostitution at the Knights Inn in Hinesville. According to MACE Commander Al Cato, Eric Campbell, 32, Martin Neese, 24, Randy Taylor and Amanda Boyles, 23, were arrested for pimping. Boyles also was charged with giving a false name. Jennifer Neese, 26, and Beth Sarver, 24, were arrested and charged with prostitution.
Cato said they began to investigate an adult Web site advertising their services in Hinesville. The six people arrested and charged are from the Port Wentworth area of Chatham County. Cato said they are working with other agencies to determine if this is part of a larger prostitution ring. They think someone might be running the scheme from another state.

Nov. 3
Agents went to conduct a fourth amendment search on parolee Ronnie Smalls located at 230 White Tail Circle. Agents found Smalls and a friend, Anthony Cunningham, sitting outside the house and began their search. According to Cato, they found suspected marijuana (misdemeanor) and a set of scales (felony).
Agents were able to apprehend Cunningham. Cato said his agents had been on the lookout for him because of his extensive criminal history and previous undercover drug purchases. Cato said they had a federal warrant out on Cunningham thanks to the cooperation of the ATF and project CEASEFIRE.
“Being a felon, having a firearm and having such an extensive history we got with ATF and they adopted the case and moved forward with it,” Cato said. “The ATF presented the case to the grand jury and got an indictment. Cunningham will face federal charges and will have to serve 90 percent of the sentence rendered against him.”
As for Smalls, he will go back in front of the judge for parole violation.

Nov. 7
Based on tips MACE staked out a house at 25 Mitchell Road and eventually met and spoke with the owner, Gregory Wells, who reportedly allowed the agents to search his house and they allegedly found an elaborate growth lab in his bedroom. Cato said 12 suspected marijuana plants were found in the room and the backyard.
Wells was charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, tools of the crime. His wife, Sheila Wells, 32, also faces the same charges. Cato said Wells had two visitors, Louis Migliaccio and Sabrina Singletary. Both were found to be in the possession of a misdemeanor quantity of suspected marijuana
Cato said the difference in this bust when compared with others is the suspected type of marijuana plant.
“We’ve heard about a type of marijuana called purple haze or a purple plant,” Cato said. “But we had never seen one until now.”
The agents are sending the plant off to the University of Mississippi to determine if it is indeed that type of marijuana plant and will have the lab check the potency of the THC of the suspected drug. Agents are trying to determine how and where the seeds were purchased.  MACE agents think Wells ordered the seeds online from somewhere in Europe. Cato said there have been some interstate stops where people were caught with this type of plant crop and it was estimated it cost roughly $6,000/pound. Agents also seized four rifles, a computer, ammunition, handheld mechanical scales, digital scales, a glass pipe and 79 grams of what Cato called, “dried and ready to smoke processed marijuana.”

— Patty Leon

 

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