$565K marijuana grow operation found in Franklin Co.


FRANKLING COUNTY, GA (WSPA) – Authorities in Franklin County, Ga. found more than 550 marijuana plants, complete with a watering and lighting system, operating out of an abandoned dairy farm on Monday.

According to a news release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Franklin County law enforcement “raided a fortified concrete structure that had reinforced doors with key pad entry along with a state of the art alarm and surveillance system.”

Authorities found 556 plants in the building, as well as an “elaborate watering and lighting system that was attached to tracks suspended from the ceiling.”

According to the release, the tracks allowed for the lighting system to move and distribute light and heat on each plant, and were also controlled by a timer. 

SLED and Oconee County Sheriff’s Office deputies executed a search warrant at Wesley B. Lothery’s home in Fair Play and found nine marijuana plants, and items used in a grow operation.

“This investigation revealed Lothery to be the caretaker of the marijuana grow operation in Georgia. Lothery is charged in South Carolina with manufacturing marijuana and possession of a controlled substance,” from the release.

He will be charged in Georgia with trafficking and manufacturing marijuana.

Lothery was taken to the Oconee County Detention Center.

According to the release, the marijuana plants were valued at $565,000.

Authorities from Georgia also seized financial accounts that were associated with the investigation.

Additional arrests are pending.

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