Appeal Staff Writer
A 41-year-old man who was allegedly growing marijuana underneath his southeast Carson City home was in custody Friday.
John Wilson, a Round Hill grocery clerk, was being held in the Carson City Jail on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance for purpose of sale, possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.
Following a two-month investigation, officers with the Tri-Net Drug Task Force served a search warrant on Wilson's Roland Street home Wednesday while he was at work.
"We first received a tip in 1997 about Wilson manufacturing methamphetamine in the crawlspace, but were unable to gather enough evidence for a search," said Lt. Scott Jackson with Tri-Net. "We recently received more tips and this time we were able to develop enough probable cause."
Jackson said investigators discovered beneath the home two rooms totaling 10-feet by 10-feet wide and seven-feet deep budding with more than two-dozen marijuana plants. The first room was allegedly used for a nursery, the second room used as the flowering or budding room. The walls in the underground rooms were framed and one floor was concrete. Both rooms had doors, Jackson said.
Access to the space was made through a hatch in a spare-bedroom closet, he said.
Investigators believe each plant produced a half pound of high-quality sensimillia marijuana.
The marijuana has a street value of about $3,000 per pound, with the total estimate street value of the seizure at about $50,000.
Jackson said the 29 marijuana plants had the potential to generate $150,000 to $300,000 in sales per year.
In addition to plants, investigators also seized evidence of drug sales.
Jackson said he believes Wilson was distributing his product outside the state.
"We really don't have any idea what impact this will have locally," he said.
Wilson was taken into custody by investigators at his job later that evening.
"This was a pretty sophisticated operation," Jackson said. "He knew what he was doing."
Wilson is being held in the Carson City Jail on $7,500 bail.
The Tri-Net task force is a multi-jurisdictional unit made up of investigators from the state's Department of Public Safety and deputies from the sheriff's departments in Lyon, Douglas and Storey counties and Carson City.