Last night, agents with the Narcotics Division of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office busted what they are calling an “extensive marijuana growing operation.”
Deputies initially went to arrest 35-year-old Matthew Ford on domestic violence charges when they noticed a strong odor coming from inside of the home on Rotten Bayou Road. After a search warrant was obtained, agents found live marijuana plants and several ounces of processed marijuana, over 200 THC vape cartridges, multiple quantities of blotter and liquid LSD, and other items used for processing, consumption, and distribution of the drugs.
According to the HCSO, the amount of full packaged vape cartridges, each over 90% pure THC, is consistent with a large volume of distribution. Narcotics agents had recently been investigating information and tips regarding the source of fruit-flavored THC vaping devices and other marijuana products being supplied to students at Hancock High School.
The sheriff’s office stated that the particular characteristics of these vape devices are consistent with information about the type of products finding their way into the hands of students.
“I am very happy we were able to take this large amount of drugs out of circulation in Hancock County,” Sheriff Ricky Adam said. “If it was the source of what’s been winding up in the hands of our high school kids, then that makes it one of our most important drug cases in quite some time. We will continue to use every available resource to combat drugs in this county, and especially where children and young adults are placed at risk.”
In a press release, authorities gave the following warning to parents.
“Parents are encouraged to be on the lookout for vaping devices, and not to assume they are ok. Many of these products, which are nearly pure THC, have smells like fruit or candy and do not have any odor typical of marijuana being smoked. The potency of this THC concentrate makes it exceptionally dangerous, especially to an inexperienced marijuana user. “
Ford was booked into the Hancock County Jail on felony charges of:
- Trafficking Controlled Substance, THC Concentrate
- Possession With Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance, Marijuana
- Possession With Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance, LSD
- Ford also has multiple prior felony charges for controlled substance crimes.