Fleetwood man charged with growing marijuana in Watauga County

June 17, 2014

A Fleetwood man has been charged by Watauga County Sheriff’s Deputies with trafficking marijuana by manufacture and several other offenses, according to a June 17 release by Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman.

According to the release, Abrham Shaki, 58, of 2316 Cranberry Springs Road in Fleetwood, was charged with the following: trafficking in marijuana by manufacture, trafficking in marijuana by possession, manufacture marijuana, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver marijuana, maintaining a dwelling containing a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the release, Shaki was taken to the Watauga County Detention Facility in lieu of a $10,000 bond, and he is scheduled to appear in District Court on July 30.

Narcotics detectives from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on the suspected marijuana growing operation on June 10, 2014, according to the release. The investigation was conducted after information was received of large amounts of marijuana being cultivated in Deep Gap.

“Detectives executed the search warrant on the property of 270 Joe Greer Road, Deep Gap, which was a large factory building,” according to the release. “Half of the factory was used as a business; the other half was used to cultivate marijuana.”

Detectives seized 93 marijuana plants from the indoor grow operation, with a total weight of 31 pounds.

“A fully mature marijuana plant can produce anywhere from 0.5 (pounds) to 1 (pounds) of actual marijuana bud,” according to the release. “With a total of 93 plants, this grow could have potentially yielded approximately 46 - 93 pounds of marijuana. A typical pound of marijuana is sold for $4,500. This would mean that the seized plants could have potentially made $207,000 - $418,500.”

According to the release, 32 marijuana plants were fully mature and ready for harvest, and 61 marijuana plants varied at different stages of growth ranging from three inches to four feet. The marijuana was cultivated through a sophisticated system using grow lamps, ballasts to regulate the power, timers to control the amount of heat the plants were using, fans to circulate the air, and air filters to mask the smell of the plants.