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April 4, 2012

Pot growing operation busted in Clarksville

Police seized $10,000-$20,000 worth of marijuana

CLARKSVILLE — Neighbors filled the street on a sunny Wednesday afternoon watching as police carried out 12 pounds of marijuana along with advanced growing equipment from a Clarksville apartment, just a few feet from the Clarksville Little League Park.

“It’s one of the more elaborate ones I’ve ever seen in my 14 years here,” said Clarksville Police Department Det. Joel DeMoss.

DeMoss said police were tipped off to the growing operation located inside a three-bedroom apartment in Riverchase Apartments, 626 Dartmouth Drive. He said one bedroom was filled with marijuana and growing equipment, including an 8-foot tall and 5-foot wide dome that housed all the plants and lighting under it. The apartment also had an air filtration system set up in the room. Police also found a receipt for $2,800 worth of growing equipment along with instructions on how to use the equipment to grow plants.

Maj. Darrell Rayborn said the value of the marijuana seized is between $10,000 and $20,000.

Rayborn said James Tyler lived in the apartment with a woman and four school-aged children. He said the woman and two of the children moved out a week to three weeks ago. He said police do not believe at this time that she had any involvement in the growing operation. He said Tyler, who was contacted via phone, agreed to turn himself over to police by Thursday morning. Rayborn said if he doesn’t, a warrant will be issued for his arrest.

Neighbors were shocked to see the items coming out of Tyler’s apartment.

“I’ve been here for 14 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Jennifer Barstead, 34, said.

Barstead said she did see the woman move out about a week ago, taking furniture and a washer/dryer with her.

“I don’t want that around my children at all,” said Trina Oliver, 36. “Here I always thought these apartments were a good place. I’m shocked ... This is crazy. Crazy. Kids run around riding their bikes here!”

DeMoss said Tyler will likely be charged with cultivating marijuana within 1,000 feet of a public park, possession of paraphernalia and maintaining a common nuisance.

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Erin Klein, a nationally-recognized education blogger and Tom Murray, State and District Digital Learning Policy and Advocacy Director for the Alliance for Excellent Education in Washington, D.C., speak to a group of educators at Jeffersonville High School on Monday. They were just a couple of the big-name education personalities at the second annual Greater Clark Connected Conference.

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