The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

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
Local News
  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    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

  • Burglary conviction draws shock prison time

    A Joplin man who received 120 days of shock incarceration time Friday in a drunken-driving case in Jasper County Circuit Court was assessed a concurrent sentence Monday in a burglary case.

    July 21, 2014

  • State audit of Joplin School District begins

    Staff members from the state auditor’s office have begun their audit of the Joplin School District, Superintendent C.J. Huff said Monday. They are expected to be in the district four days per week for the next five to six months, or perhaps longer, until the audit is complete, Huff said.

    July 21, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Family gatherings mirror circle of life

    The annual family gathering is getting bigger. There tends to be an ebb and a flow to most family gatherings. When you’re a kid, and especially if you’re a kid from a large Catholic family, the gatherings seem to be huge.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071714 Jasper Cty Dispatch1_72.jpg Area communities, Jasper County work to improve communications

    The first law enforcement officer to respond to a fatal shooting last November at Northpark Mall was from the Duquesne Police Department — not Joplin. Joplin police Chief Jason Burns said he wasn’t bothered by that. “We dispatch for them, and they had an officer close who could get there faster,” he said. “And getting help to people as quickly as possible is more important than jurisdictions.”

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Sports
Photos


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
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter