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Police Bust Alleged Marijuana Growing Operation Thanks To Maintenance Worker's Tip

A apartment complex’s maintenance workers uncovered an alleged marijuana growing operation in Newport News, Virginia, helping police to bust two residents.

The maintenance worker at Kingstowne Apartments was trying to find the source of a leak through a vent in an apartment when he discovered the growing operation in the apartment upstairs, court documents state.

The maintenance worker and the property manager told police they had entered the second-floor apartment after resident Brenda Hewitt reported the leak.

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“It was coming out of this vent in this area right here,” Hewitt told WTKR, as she showed the news crew her bathroom ceiling. “It was a total surprise because I had no idea any of that was going on above my head.”

While inside the upstairs apartment, several maintenance workers noticed a purple light. Upon investigation, they found the operation and took pictures. The discovery included a suspected marijuana plant hanging upside down to dry out and several buckets filled with soil, as well as a pile of suspected marijuana.

Christopher Michael Gibson, 23, and Michelle Elizabeth Best, 23, were arrested after police executed search warrant. They were at home when police conducted the search.

Officers found several marijuana plants, Mason jars full of marijuana, a digital scale, and bags of marijuana seeds. In total, cops recovered 17 ounces of marijuana, reports WAVY.

Court paperwork shows that officers found a credit card skimmer, which is used to steal credit card information and residue from the drug ecstasy. Police also found an AR-15 rifle with no serial number and various kinds of ammunition.

Court documents say Gibson told police he started growing the marijuana in December. He also said that he was going to start growing psychedelic mushrooms, reports WAVY.

Best was charged with possession with intent to distribute and manufacture marijuana. She will have a hearing in late August. Gibson was charged with four narcotics charges and two gun charges. He is due in court in October.

Nobody answered the door at Gibson and Best’s apartment when WAVY stopped by, and employees at the apartment complex declined to comment.

Hewitt spoke of the maintenance worker who led police to the bust, saying “I would say thank you to him.”

Sources: WTKR, WAVY / Photo credit: Wikmedia Commons


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