(Jones County) – Jones County Sheriff’s Narcotics investigators executed a search warrant at the known residence of Ronald Taylor, 49, of Laurel in the western part of Jones County on Thursday, April 11, according to information released by the Sheriff’s Department. The search warrant was the result of an investigation regarding a complex marijuana “grow house” in the area. During the execution of the warrant, investigators recovered items including – but not limited to:
- Eighty-nine (89) marijuana plants in various stages of growth;
- Approximately five (5) pounds of marijuana in various stages drying;
- Approximately ten (10) pounds of marijuana stored in a freezer;
- Approximately one (1) pound of marijuana finished product ready for sale or use;
- Assorted growing equipment and paraphernalia;
- Various documents and records related to the operation;
- Two firearms.
All of the marijuana recovered is considered “high grade,” meaning that it has a very high THC content. The street value of the finished product recovered is approximately $5,600.00. Each individual plant has the potential to produce up to 3-6 ounces of marijuana when harvested. The potential yield for the 89 seized plants is up to approximately 30 pounds and could sell for up to $168,000.00 gross. The expenses related to this elaborate grow operation are very high and would cut significantly into the profits. Taylor was very detailed and meticulous with his grow operation. The equipment seized from the home has an estimated retail value of well over $100,000.00. Our preliminary investigation found Taylor acted alone in the operation; however, investigators will be examining collected evidence to determine if he conspired with anyone else.
Taylor has a prior felony conviction for grand larceny in Jones County from 2007. Taylor was taken into custody at the scene without incident and transported to the Jones County Jail.
This is the largest and most elaborate indoor marijuana grow operation found in Jones County in recent history and perhaps ever. The advanced technology being used included items such as commercial timers, humidification devices, hydroponic watering systems, air quality adjustment and monitoring equipment, various lighting devices, ventilation systems with filtering, cloning systems and assorted chemicals. The home had been modified to accommodate the additional electrical, water climate control and ventilation requirements for this type of operation.
Taylor is charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, manufacture of marijuana, and two counts of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. The two drug charges could carry as much as 20 years per charge and the two weapon charges could carry as much as 10 years per charge.