Deputies bust large-scale marijuana grow

Published 5:40pm Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Decatur County Sheriff’s Office arrested a local man on several drug-related charges after finding hundreds of marijuana plants growing on his property.

Late Friday afternoon, Sheriff’s Office investigators went to the home of 48-year-old Phillip Byrd at 175 Kemp Road, located off Georgia Highway 262 in southeastern Decatur County.

Sheriff’s deputies found Byrd in a field across the road from his residence, near one of several plots containing marijuana plants, Investigator Redell Walton said.

Acting on a tip, deputies launched an investigation and conducted surveillance of Byrd’s activities.

In all, deputies uprooted more than 500 marijuana plants on Byrd’s property, along a deer trail through the woods and in multiple fields, Walton said. Some of the plants were concealed by vegetation and marijuana seeds lay scattered about.

After taking Byrd into custody, deputies obtained a search warrant for his residence. Inside, they found “a substantial amount” of marijuana, including plants and processed marijuana, and multiple firearms.

“We found a baking tin that was almost filled with marijuana,” Walton said. “We also found seeds and tools used in growing and processing the marijuana. In one room, we found about 50 seedlings that had started to germinate.”

Byrd is charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Because Byrd is a previously convicted felon, his firearms were seized and he was also charged with illegal possession of firearms by a convicted felon, Walton said.

Walton said a team of several investigators worked hard to discover the marijuana grows and remove the plants. That team included Walton, Chief Investigator Julian Crowder, Investigator Terry Phillips, Capt. Gale Bowyer and Investigator Brian Donalson.

  • justsaynow

    The citizen still has the power to change the law with jury nullification, NEVER convict!

  • malcolmkyle

    Prohibition has diverted police resources away from other law enforcement activities with the result that violent crime and crime against property is driven far higher than it would have been otherwise. To the extent that communities divert law enforcement resources from violent crimes to illegal drug offenses the risk of punishment for engaging in violent crime is reduced.

    The National Firearms Act of 1934 was actually a direct response to the acute rise in prohibition (1919-33) engendered gun violence.


    The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada reviewed 15 studies that evaluated the association between violence and drug law enforcement. “Our findings suggest that increasing drug law enforcement is unlikely to reduce drug market violence. Instead, the existing evidence base suggests that gun violence and high homicide rates may be an inevitable consequence of drug prohibition and that disrupting drug markets can paradoxically increase violence.”

    During alcohol prohibition all profits went to enrich criminals and corrupt politicians. Young men, while battling over turf, died every day on inner-city streets. A vast fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on education. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed! Sound familiar?

  • FlyingTooLow

    The prohibition of marijuana is a farce. It is time to start living the way our forefathers intended.

    Law enforcement needs to re-direct its focus on crime…to those that are REAL crimes.

    I was in Federal Prison for 5 years for a marijuana offense. No, it was not for simple possession. I was arrested aboard a Lockheed PV2 in Marianna, Florida…charged and convicted for conspiracy to import and distribute 12,000 pounds of marijuana.

    As my years in prison rolled by, what I did see were armed bank robbers, coming and going…while I still sat there for marijuana. Most of the bank robbers only spent 17 to 24 months. But, I and my fellow ‘drug offenders,’…we stayed for YEARS.

    I wrote about the escapades that led to my incarceration. I admit, I had a great time. No one was injured, no one was killed, firearms were not involved…there were no victims.

    We were Americans…doing what Americans do best…living free.

    The book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank

    Tales of adventure in the marijuana trade…

    I wish Mr Byrd a speedy and complete exoneration.

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