Hawkins deputies seize 93 plants, automatic rifle and silencer at indoor marijuana grow

Jeff Bobo • May 30, 2019 at 10:00 AM

MOORESBURG — A tip from a bail bond company reportedly led the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office last week to an indoor marijuana grow, where 93 plants were seized, as well as several firearms including an automatic rifle and homemade silencer.

On Wednesday, Brandon Lee Winstead, 38, 105 Petty Lane, Mooresburg, was arraigned in Hawkins County Sessions Court on charges including manufacturing marijuana, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, possession of a prohibited weapon, and marijuana possession.

Winstead allegedly admitted to the HCSO that he owned the property where the marijuana grow was located during a May 22 raid at 103 Petty Lane, next door to his residence.

The marijuana grow was reported by bail bondsmen who went to the grow house looking for someone wanted on an out-of-county warrant.

HCSO Narcotics Unit. Lt. Lynn Campbell said the bondsmen noticed all the windows were boarded up, but they were able to see a marijuana plant through a pinhole in the front door window.

“They called us and we could smell it outside,” Campbell said. “We went back and wrote the search warrant and executed it. After executing it, we thought it was odd the neighbor hadn’t wondered what was going on. We knocked on his door, asked who owned next door and he stated he did. He had been asleep and wasn’t aware we had executed the search warrant.”

Upon executing a search warrant at 103 Petty Lane, deputies reportedly seized 93 plants as well as growing materials such as soil enhancer, lights with thermostat, digital readers, a wireless monitoring system and packaging materials.

After being confronted by deputies, Winstead agreed to allow his residence to be searched. 

Aside from the automatic rifle and silencer, deputies reportedly located seven semi-automatic pistols, two shotguns, three rifles, ammunition, abut $4,000 in cash, two ounces of vacuum-packaged marijuana, a liter of THC oil, and ledgers containing the names of clients and expenses and profits.

Winstead was released from the Hawkins County Jail on $25,000 bond.

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