Bob Gault, media relations coordinator for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, said Monday the Drug Enforcement Unit agent overseeing the investigation had contacted the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and inquired about the approximate street value of the find.
Gault said according to the agent who made the inquiry, each plant was valued according to what it would produce and that figure was estimated at $1,000 for each plant.
The agent also noted that during his 16-year career, Saturday’s bust was the largest he had ever seen while working in Bradley County and several surrounding counties where such marijuana operations had been uncovered.
Saturday evening about 8, Bradley County deputies had responded to a residence on Mount Bethel Road in southeast Bradley County. A burglary in progress call prompted the discovery, according to reports.
As deputies entered the residence, they encountered a “growling dog.”
They reportedly smelled the odor of marijuana and backed out of the residence, awaiting a request for a search warrant.
After receiving the warrant, officials entered the residence and discovered an “industrial-type marijuana grow operation,” according to initial reports.
Gault said the suspected marijuana plants were approximately 4 feet tall and different varieties of the illegal drug were being grown under controlled lighting and feeding conditions.
“Some of the plants were budding,” said Gault Monday morning.
No charges or arrests have been made yet, according to Gault.
“We are pleased the deputies and DEU agents worked together so hard through the night to collect evidence and shut this operation down. This is one crop which will not make it on the streets of our county or elsewhere,” said Sheriff Jim Ruth.