Marijuana grow operation found in bunker in Yancey Co., man charged


YANCEY COUNTY, NC (WSPA) – Yancey County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested a man after they discovered an elaborate marijuana grow operation in an underground bunker in the Green Mountain community earlier this month.

According to the sheriff’s office’s Facebook post, an investigation led detectives to execute a search warrant on Feb. 4 on the underground bunker.

Once inside, detectives found a hydroponic grow operation with 259 marijuana plants and several vacuum sealed packages of harvested marijuana. The packages totaled 128.3 pounds of harvest marijuana, which street value was around $300,000.

Detectives said the bunker was camouflaged by a garage on the property.

According to the sheriff’s office post, a second search warrant was executed on Feb. 6 at a home in the Newdale Community, and found another 158 grams of marijuana.

Jeremy James LaMotte, 45, the owner of both properties, was arrested in Buncombe County on Feb. 7 for the Green Mountain warrants and was released on $15,000 bond.

LaMotte was then arrested again in Yancey County on Feb. 8 for the Newdale warrants, and was later released on $5,000 bond.

According to the post, LaMotte was charged with two counts of felony trafficking in marijuana, two counts of felony possession of schedule VI controlled substance, two counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver, two counts of felony maintaining vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance and felony manufacture of a schedule VI controlled substance.

LaMotte was scheduled to appear in Yancey County District Court on Feb. 20.

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