Arrests made in marijuana bust in Union Township

June 11th, 2010    Author: Staff Report    Filed Under: News

The Clermont County Sheriff’s Office has announced they have netted one of their largest indoor marijuana busts in the last 15 years with the help of Cincinnati Police Central Vice Control Section, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Drug Abuse Reduction Task Force, and the Clermont County Narcotics Unit.

“We usually have trouble with people growing outside,” Chief Deputy Rick Combs with the CCSO said. “It’s unusual to see such a large indoor operation in Clermont County.”

According to Combs, the investigation had been ongoing for six months when a break came in the form of a traffic stop by a Newton Police Office on Tuesday, May 25.

Photos released by the Clermont County Sheriff
The officer stopped James McKinney Jr. and noticed a marijuana leaf on his shirt along with a large bag of marijuana in the passenger seat. The officer knew McKinney was the subject of an investigation so he contacted the Sheriff's office. Clermont County Narcotics Agents quickly obtained a warrant for McKinney's 641 Parkland Drive residence in Union Township. The agents found what the Sheriff's office is calling "a very sophisticated" marijuana growing operation. The agents recovered about 500 marijuana plants along with horticultural equipment valued at several thousands of dollars, a handgun, and $11,000 in cash.

Abigail Schwartz McKinney and her children were at the residence during the search and she was charged with cultivating marijuana. The children were placed with a family member.

Cincinnati Vice & DART served a warrant at a home at 7035 Britton Avenue, Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Police arrested McKinney's father James McKinney Sr. at the home.

"No further specific information regarding the charges will be released by the Sheriff's Office yet very likely additional individuals and charges will be presented to a Clermont County Grand Jury in June," Combs said.

Combs said the inter-agency teamwork was a big help in putting the case together.
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