Spotting the marijuana plants from the air, law enforcement officials arrested Gary Wayne King for manufacturing a controlled substance. Approximately 34 plants were discovered outside of King’s home.
GRAFTON – The Tygart Valley Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, comprised of the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department, the Grafton Police Department, the West Virginia State Police, and the Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, confiscated well over 200 marijuana plants last Wednesday.
The plants were located by air, as the Sheriff’s Department had secured the use of a helicopter to search Taylor County for outdoor growing operations.
Three people have been arrested, and charged with manufacture of a controlled substance and cultivation of marijuana.
Gary Wayne King, whose address is listed as Bridgeport, has been charged with manufacture of a controlled substance. Earnest Martin Duncan, and Kellica May Ida Duncan, both of Route 1, Grafton, have both been charged with cultivation of marijuana.
According to a criminal complaint, obtained by the Mountain Statesman, while flying over King’s residence, Taylor County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant, Dayton Mayle, who was assigned, as a spotter, observed multiple marijuana plants growing in King’s yard.
Mayle was then assigned to the ground team and responded to that location. Upon arrival, Trooper Daugherty, of the West Virginia State Police, had already secured King.
In plain view was approximately 34 marijuana plants growing around the residence and in a make shift greenhouse adjoining the residence.
Further investigation revealed the windows in the rear of the residence were covered with reflective material along with several air vents below the windows. Mayle suspected an additional indoor grow operation, and asked King for consent to search the residence.
King refused to give his consent, and requested that a search warrant be obtained. Mayle contacted Taylor County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy, Terring Skinner, and provided him with the information to obtain a search warrant. A short while later, Chief Deputy Skinner arrived on the scene and the warrant was executed.
During the search of the residence, an indoor marijuana grow operation was discovered. Law enforcement discovered 133 plants inside King’s residence in various stages of growth, ranging from approximately six inches tall to nearly full grown mature plants, which were budding and ready for harvest.
An adjoining room was also discovered that was being used for processing the cultivated plants for distribution.
In the Knottsville area of Taylor County, Sergeant Mayle was again acting in the capacity of spotter from the helicopter. According to the criminal complaint, a large grow of marijuana was observed from the air, and the helicopter landed.
Sergeant Mayle disembarked the helicopter and secured the scene awaiting the ground officers’ arrival.
While waiting, Sergeant Mayle ascertained the ownership of the property. It was discovered that Earnest Martin Duncan, and his wife, Kellica May Ida Duncan, own the property.
The marijuana grow was in the curtilage of the property, inside of a homemade fence.
Upon arrival home, both the defendant, and his wife, were Mirandized, and did admit to knowingly and unlawfully growing marijuana.
Both were arrested on scene, and transported to the police department for processing.
Ten marijuana plants were discovered.