OFFICERS SEIZE 20 MARIJUANA PLANTS GROWN INSIDE HOME
Officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division on Monday, July 26 seized 20 marijuana plants that were worth a total of about $20,000. Officers arrested a 29-year-old man who set up a sophisticated marijuana growing operation in a bedroom at a home on Rapids Road near Irmo. Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said officers arrested Andrew Martin Nelson, 29, at about 1:05 p.m. on Monday at Nelson’s home at 563 Rapids Road. Officers arrested Nelson on a charge of manufacturing marijuana. Nelson was being held on Tuesday, July 27 at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing. Officers arrested Nelson during a marijuana eradication sweep that NET officers and SLED agents conducted on Monday, Metts said. SLED agents used a SLED helicopter to conduct aerial surveillance for marijuana plants. SLED agents in the SLED helicopter saw one marijuana plant that was being grown in a black plant container located along a fence at the rear of Nelson’s home, Metts said. As the SLED agents conducted aerial surveillance in the helicopter along Old Bush River Road near Irmo, Nelson saw the helicopter flying over his home, walked outside his residence, removed the marijuana plant from the black plant container and brought the marijuana plant inside his home. After executing a search warrant at Nelson’s home, officers found that Nelson had placed one marijuana plant in a trash can inside his residence, Metts said. Officers found wood boxes in the living room that contained a glass jar in which high-quality marijuana was stored. Officers also found a digital scale, a small amount of psilocybin mushrooms, which can cause hallucinations after being ingested, and devices that are used to ingest marijuana.
Officers found that Nelson had converted a bedroom near the master bedroom into a sophisticated marijuana growing room, Metts said. Officers found 19 marijuana plants growing in the room as well as 2.5 pounds of high-quality marijuana that had been dried for distribution. The bedroom was equipped with five fans, two digital devices that measure humidity and temperature, a device that measures acidity in soil, a circuit breaker that provided electricity to electrical equipment in the room, high-output lights and hydroponic growing trays, Metts said. A digital camera contained digital photographs of marijuana plants that were grown in the room. Officers searched a white 2004 Toyota 4-Runner sport utility vehicle that was parked outside Nelson’s home and found a small white pill bottle in the center console of the vehicle that contained a small amount of marijuana that had been dried for ingestion, Metts said. Daniel Deforeest Talty, 25, of 100 Gleneagle Circle, Irmo, who drove the Toyota 4-Runner to Nelson’s home, was arrested on a charge of simple possession of marijuana. Talty was being held on Tuesday at the county Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing. Citizens who want to anonymously report illegal drug activity can call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or call the NET Hotline at (803) 785-8411, Metts said. NET is comprised of officers from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Batesburg-Leesville Police Department, Cayce Department of Public Safety, Irmo Police Department, Lexington Police Department and SLED, Metts said.