(Greendale, Ind.) – More than 260 marijuana plants and 20 pounds of harvested pot are in police possession after a major drug bust by Dearborn County Special Crimes Unit detectives.
James E. Lowery, 41,
Dearborn County Sheriff's
On Wednesday and Thursday following a month-long investigation, police executed search warrants at three properties owned by James Lowery, of Hidden Valley. Raided were Lowery’s primary residence as well as two properties in Greendale.
“The individuals involved had obviously been engaged in this criminal activity for a long period of time. This was a significant growing operation that had been able to avoid detection by law enforcement for years,” said Dearborn County Special Crimes Unit Coordinator Tom McKay.
In the three homes, detectives would locate a total of 262 marijuana plants, 20 pounds of already cultivated marijuana and several thousand dollars worth of equipment used in the operation. The list of equipment in the elaborate growing setup included artificial lighting, carbon dioxide generators, humidity and climate controls, timed mechanical rotation, fertilized water, and air circulation.
McKay said an anonymous tip sparked detectives’ interest.
“This investigation was initiated from a tip passed to the Special Crimes Unit and was successful because of the dedication of the detectives involved. This investigation involved many successive hours of work over a period of four weeks,” said McKay, adding that the long list of supplies indicates the grow operation may have been much larger at times.
Lowery, 41, was arrested at his residence in Hidden Valley as the search warrants were executed. He is charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver more than Ten Pounds and Manufacturing of Marijuana more than Ten Pounds, both Class C felonies. Lowery could be sentenced to up to 16 years in prison if convicted on both counts.
“This represents the kind of criminal activity that Dearborn and Ohio County citizens will not tolerate. Lowery is a drug dealer profiting from his criminal activity with no regard for the impact drugs has on our community,” said Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard.
Agencies assisting the crimes unit at the scene of the searches were the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department, Greendale Police Department, Hidden Valley Lake Rangers, and the Rising Sun Police Department.