Marijuana 'grow house' found; two Trade residents charged

From Staff Reports

   Two Johnson County residents were arrested Friday by members of the Johnson County Sheriff's Department, agents of the First Judicial District Drug Task Force, and officers from the U.S. Forest Service after they served a search warrant at a residence in Trade and turned up a marijuana "grow house."
   According to Johnson County Sheriff Roger Gentry and DTF Director Kenneth Phillips, Todd Dearing, 32, 1173 Bulldog Road, and Joy Allison Attaway, 23, same address, were charged with possession of Schedule VI for resale and manufacturing of Schedule VI for resale. Both could face additional charges. They were released from the Johnson County Jail after each posted bonds of $71,500. They are scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. March 7 in Johnson County.
   According to law enforcement officials, the search warrant was obtained after an undercover operative purchased marijuana from the couple. While executing the search warrant agents found three grow rooms located in the basement of the house. Those contained seedlings, medium-size plants, and plants up to 5 feet in height.
   Agents also seized pounds of marijuana, the exact amount of which was undisclosed, as well as 105 well-manicured plants in various stages of growth, "popcorn pot," which apparently is made of the leftovers and resembles a small popcorn ball, plus stems from another 80 to 90 plants that already had been harvested.
   Also seized were $14,000 in cash which included marked DTF funds, passport photos, and a variety of drug paraphernalia, including bongs and pipes. Agents also located several pieces of equipment believed used in the grow operation including fans, artificial lighting, generators and humidifiers.
   It is believed the grow operation, which generated high-dollar, potent marijuana, had been in production approximately six to eight months.
   On Saturday, DTF agents, officers of Johnson City Police Bureau and members of Carter County Sheriff's Department arrested two Johnson City residents after executing a search warrant at 3008 S. Roan St., Apt. 1, following a two-month-long investigation by state and federal agencies.
   Five controlled narcotics purchases were conducted at the residence of Shemelle Cousins, 22, and Onya Bathsheba Bates, 24. During execution of the search warrant, agents found 32 grams of crack cocaine, three grams of marijuana, two sets of scales, assorted drug paraphernalia, cellular phones and an undisclosed amount of cash. Agents also seized two automobiles used in the illegal narcotics transactions.
   Bates was charged with possession of Schedule II for resale, possession of Schedule VI, and possession of drug paraphernalia and was set a $30,000 bond. Cousins was charged with possession of Schedule II for resale, possession of Schedule VI, possession of drug paraphernalia, and four counts sale of Schedule II. His bond was set at $155,000. They are scheduled for arraignment today.