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Marijuana Growing Operation in SC Shut Down

Huge Sumter-Based Marijuana Grow Operation Shut Down

marijuana growing operationA Sumter, SC resident was arrested after police found a large marijuana growing operation along with at least 2 pounds of marijuana, worth $35,000.

Gobe Dean McElveen, 50, was arrested and charged for manufacturing marijuana, as well as possession with intent to distribute. Reportedly, McElveen consented to officers searching the premises when they arrived.

During a preliminary search of McElveen’s home on Monday, November 24th, officers located at least 2 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $9,060. Deputies also found several rooms within the home, and a storage shed behind the residence, which had been converted for cultivating marijuana. Officers recovered more than a dozen marijuana plants worth at least $26,000.

Deputies also noted a recently-excavated 500-square-foot subterranean directly below the home, in the process of being equipped with grow lights and hydroponics, possibly to expand McElveen’s marijuana growing operation.

Officers also report that another suspect was present at the scene, but he fled. McElveen is being held at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.

Marijuana in South Carolina: Possession with Intent to Distribute

South Carolina’s drug laws are among the stiffest in the nation. A first time offender charged with simple possession of marijuana can face up to thirty days in jail and be ordered to pay a fine, which can more than double when you add in court costs.

The penalties can significantly increase depending upon:

  • The type of drug,
  • the quantity of drugs,
  • whether your case is brought in State or Federal court,
  • your prior criminal record, or
  • if you are accused of a drug crime within proximity of a school, park, or childcare facility.

In SC, there are two types of possession charges:

  • actual possession
  • constructive possession

To be charged with actual possession, the drugs must physically be on you, i.e., in your pocket, jacket, purse, or hand; to be charged with constructive possession, the drugs can be found in your car or home.

To convict you for possession with the intent to distribute or sell drugs in South Carolina, the prosecution must prove that you had possession of a specific quantity of drugs. You may also be charged with drug distribution if the drugs even appeared to be packaged for distribution.

Under South Carolina law, the following amounts are sufficient to be charged with possession with the intent to distribute drugs:

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Marijuana Drug Charges

Until different marijuana legislation is passed through the South Carolina state legislature, a first time offender charged with simple possession of marijuana can face up to thirty days in jail and be ordered to pay a fine, which can more than double when you add in court costs.

The South Carolina marijuana trafficking and possession lawyers at the Strom Law Firm, LLC are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients, providing aggressive representation grounded in our years of experience building and interpreting the laws of South Carolina. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800

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