MASON COUNTY — It has been a busy few days for deputies with the Mason County Sheriff’s Department who busted an alleged marijuana grow operation and seized a significant amount of prescription medication during a traffic stop in two separate cases.
On Friday, Deputies Cavender and Waugh responded to the residence of Michael Blankenship, 44 and Hilda Pearson, age unreported, located at 1429 Hunter Lane in Leon. The sheriff’s department had received anonymous tips indicating possible illegal activity at the home.
Upon arrival, deputies reported finding an alleged marijuana grow operation in two rooms of the couple’s house, including in a spare bedroom and master bedroom. Sheriff Greg Powers said, in addition, deputies found florescent lights, timers, high pressure sodium lights, baggies and scales.
Powers reports deputies seized 2.5 pounds of marijuana, including 19 plants described as having reached maturity. In all, the sheriff’s department estimates the street value of the bust to be between $20,000 and $30,000.
Powers said Blankenship and Pearson were both charged with manufacturing marijuana. They were arrested and transported to the Western Regional Jail where they later bonded out on Monday to await further court proceedings, according to the sheriff’s department.
Then on Monday in a separate case, a deputy executed a traffic stop on W.Va. 2 in the Glenwood area after observing a vehicle allegedly go left of center, traveling “well below” the posted speed limit, according to the sheriff’s department.
The subject in the vehicle which was headed south on W.Va. 2 was identified by deputies as Bradley D. Smith, 45, Bidwell, Ohio. During the traffic stop conducted near the Mason/Cabell county line, a deputy reported smelling marijuana from the car. With the assistance of Patrolman Musgrave and K9 Jerry from the Point Pleasant Police Department, the dog “indicated” on the car.
During the stop, deputies ended up finding 138 Percocet 10 mg pain pills, 14 suboxone pills, marijuana, suboxone strips and $4,176 in cash. Deputies estimated the Percocet pills have a street value of $12 each and in all, Sheriff Powers said it’s estimated about $2,000 worth of Percocet and suboxone were seized, in terms of street value.
Also found, clear baggies consistent with the distribution of illegal narcotics, according to the sheriff’s department.
Smith was arrested and charged with possession with intent to deliver with more charges pending, according to deputies. He remains housed at the Western Regional Jail with a bond set at $50,000 in Mason County Magistrate Court.
Working on this case from the sheriff’s department Deputies Cavender, Johnson, Waugh and Cpt. Stearns, Sgt. Terry, Sgt. Powell.
Deputies were in the area to enforce speed and aggressive driving thanks to a grant from the Governor’s Highway Safety program.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.