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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Tall pot plants seized in Carter County; man arrested

August 4th, 2011 3:27 pm by John Thompson

ELIZABETHTON — A tip from a private citizen led the Carter County Sheriff’s Department to 48 marijuana plants on Wednesday. Some more the plants were between 6 and 8 feet tall.
Responding to the tip, Sgt. Brian Durham and other officers went to the residence of Ronald J. Botts, 46, at 267 Rocky Branch Road. The officers found Botts at the residence and told him why they had come.
Durham said Botts did not know anything about marijuana being grown on this property, but agreed to show officers around his residence.
Durham said several tall plants were found behind a shed. He said it appeared the plants had been growing for quite a while. Upon checking the rest of the property, he said several smaller plants were located. Several smaller plants were found growing only a foot or two from the west side of the house. Another 6-foot-tall plant was found along the southwest corner of the residence.
Durham said during his initial discussions with Botts after the discovery, he said Botts denied any knowledge of the plants. After Durham spoke with him further, Botts finally admitted the plants were his.
The 48 plants were confiscated, chopped down and transported to the sheriff’s department. Botts was arrested on a charge of manufacturing marijuana. He is scheduled to answer the charges in Sessions Court on Sept. 2.
Sheriff Chris Mathes said the plants were enough to produce approximately 16 pounds of processed marijuana, which has a wholesale value of 1,000 per pound. He said the total street value of the plants was approximately $25,000.
A small amount of the marijuana was kept as evidence and the rest was burned on Wednesday.

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