The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

October 23, 2013

Drug agents find marijuana grow operation


TARBORO — The Edgecombe County Sheriff's Department and Tarboro police's drug task forces received a citizen's complaint about a possible indoor marijuana grow operation and when law enforcement acted on the tip Thursday, they hit the jackpot.

According to a press release from the sheriff's department, agents learned about the possible grow operation and went to Woodland Road just off of Highway 122/111 and learned the mobile home that was down a farm path was being rented by 43-year-old Charles Washburn Coker, Jr.

Law enforcement got in touch with Coker and asked him to come to the residence so they could gain access to the home and search it.

The press release said once agents got inside the mobile home they found 43 marijuana plants in various stages of growth. They also found evidence that Coker had just recently harvested some of the plants. They also seized grow lights, fertilizer and planting trays.

Agents charged Coker, of 2081 McNair Road, Tarboro, with manufacturing marijuana, possession with the intent to sell, deliver and manufacture marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was placed in the Edgecombe County Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond.

Coker is due in court today for his first appearance.

This was the third marijuana grow operation that the sheriff's department has found this year. According to stats, the estimated street value of the plants is over $125,000.

"I want to thank the concerned citizens for getting involved," Sheriff James Knight said. "The cooperation between our department and Tarboro has been very beneficial to the citizens and to both departments."

Anyone with information about any type of illegal drug activity is asked to contact the sheriff's department at 641-7911. All information will be held strictly confidential.