The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

May 13, 2013

Large indoor marijuana-growing operation discovered near Joplin

It might not be that big an indoor marijuana-growing operation by northern California standards.

But, for Missouri?

“This was the biggest and most sophisticated operation we’ve ever encountered,” Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said.

A tip led a sheriff’s deputy to a house west of Joplin at 3540 Whispering Hills on Friday afternoon. A search that followed turned up hundreds of marijuana plants of multiple strains and hybrids, and in various stages of growth and cultivation.

“Every room in the house had something to do with the operation,” the sheriff said.

Four rooms were full of plants under grow lights, with duct work and vents for humidifying, electrical control panels with timers, and clipboards with schedules for treatments, he said. Other rooms were dedicated to drying and packaging.

There were 396 plants in all. One hundred and seven half-pound to one-pound packages of processed pot were also found. The sheriff said a Drug Enforcement Administration agent from Springfield estimated the value of the indoor operation at $850,000.

Arrested and charged with first-degree trafficking in marijuana was Michael S. Holden, 35.

“He was the only one around and claimed to be the only one involved,” Copeland said.

Federal court records show this is not the first time Holden has been nabbed with an alleged growing operation. He was sentenced to 28 months in prison in May 2005 for an operation in Newton County involving more than 100 plants. He was still under court supervision for that conviction as late as 2011.

Copeland said Holden told him that he was not released until about 10 months ago. The sheriff said investigators believe his operation had been up and running for at least a few months.

Electrical bills

Recent electrical bills for the residence where a large marijuana-growing operation was discovered have been running at about $1,000 per month, according to the Newton County sheriff.

1
Text Only
Crime & Courts
  • Tulsa man faces robbery charge

    A suspect in a shoplifting incident Monday at the Sears store in Northpark Mall in Joplin was charged with robbery after he and an accomplice reportedly resisted a store employee’s effort to detain them.

    July 22, 2014

  • Wrecks injure two on area roadways

    A Carthage man suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident at 3:35 p.m. Tuesday on East 50th Street, a half-mile east of Joplin in Newton County, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

    July 22, 2014

  • Assault sends man to Joplin hospital

    Joplin police are investigating an apparent felony assault that sent a 20-year-old man to Freeman Hospital West with injuries to his head and shoulder.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • Youth shot in shoulder after reportedly encountering burglars

    A male juvenile was treated for a gunshot wound to his shoulder after a reported home invasion early Saturday in the 100 block of South 250th Street, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

    July 21, 2014

  • Webb City man placed on probation in assault case

    A rural Webb City man pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Monday in a child abuse case and received a suspended sentence with probation.

    July 21, 2014

  • Man enters plea to reduced charge in drug case

    A Joplin man charged with trafficking in crack cocaine pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge of felony possession in a plea deal with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office.

    July 21, 2014

  • Joplin man pleads guilty to reduced charge in shooting incident

    A Joplin man accused of shooting at another man’s vehicle a year ago pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge of unlawful possession of a firearm. William K. Richardson, 37, pleaded guilty during a hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court. He will be sentenced Sept. 22.

    July 21, 2014

  • Webb City woman draws probation for robbery at mall

    A 22-year-old Webb City woman who pleaded guilty to robbery in a shoplifting incident at the J.C. Penney store in Northpark Mall received a suspended sentence Friday in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Local News
Sports
Facebook
Poll

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
NDN Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment