SALT LICK When officers with the Floyd County Sheriffs Department knocked on the door at the Salt Lick home of Autumn Wireman, 21, and Billy Jack Johnson, 23, a smell Floyd County Sheriff John K Blackburn and fellow officers suspected to be marijuana was prominent.
We could smell it from the front porch, Blackburn said Tuesday afternoon outside the couples home. When we went inside, there it was.
What Blackburn was referring to was some 100 miniature pot plants situated in rows beneath grow lights in a back bedroom of the house, discovered after Blackburn and his officers knocked and woke the couple up Tuesday.
I had got a tip on this two months or so ago and followed up on it, said Blackburn. We estimate the value of the marijuana to be in the range of $75,000 to $100,000.
The bust numbered at 106 plants, with several already harvested and drying out at the time of the bust, with others already stored in several bags for distribution, all of which was seized Tuesday for evidence.
They had it set up in here, continued Blackburn, with hanging lights they adjusted from hangers as the plants grew to a fuller size.
In a closet of the small bedroom were numerous bags of fertilizer and black garbage bags were taped over two windows of the room.
Inside the home, the scent of marijuana grew stronger the closer Sheriffs Department officers Lt. Greg Johnson, Lt. Gary Tackett, Sgt. Delmas Johnson and Deputies Kenneth Prater, Clayton Teel and Ray Bates moved throughout the house searching for more evidence.
Wireman was interviewed by officers outside the home, where a few feet away a Beware of Dog sign was tacked above a nailed chain pulled to full length by a dog hunkering away from the unexpected visitors.
Johnson remained in the living room offering statements as Blackburn examined a modified shotgun later added to evidence stored at the scene.
Blackburn said that during the investigation it seemed the couple were entertaining buyers at the home were they believe at this time most of the drug transactions were taking place.
Wireman, who police said was unemployed, and Johnson, an employee of Riverview Nursing Home, were charged with cultivating and trafficking marijuana and later transported to the Floyd County Detention Center.