Published Monday, October 15, 2012

High-grade marijuana netted in raid by Coweta County authorities

By JOHN A. WINTERS

john@newnan.com

Coweta County investigators netted almost $20,000 in cash and about $40,000 in high-grade marijuana in a raid they said made a "good dent" in the area drug trade.

A couple living together were arrested Friday after investigators served a search warrant on Boone Drive in Newnan. They are Christopher Michael Smith, 22, and Brittney-Lee Michelle Orourke, 19. Both were charged with possession of marijuana with intent, according to Coweta County Jail records.

The marijuana was considered top-grade, worth about $5,000 a pound. Regular marijuana will sell for about $150 an ounce, but this version, known as "Loud," would go from $400 to $500, said investigator Victor McPhie with the Coweta County Sheriff's Office.

In addition to about eight pounds of marijuana and about $19,000 in cash, authorities also seized several weapons. Those include shotguns, handguns and semi-automatic rifles. All were loaded when investigators showed up, authorities said.

"It think this made a good dent in the marijuana trade in our area," said Sheriff Mike Yeager.

All of the marijuana was vacuum-sealed to prevent odors from escaping and came from California, authorities said. One bag was found in the kitchen along with some scales. Another bag was located in a safe that also contained cash and several weapons.

Investigators also found more marijuana in a shed in the back yard, McPhie said. That marijuana was hidden in the ceiling.

Yeager said residents in the area were complaining about illegal drug sales, but were also worried because Smith was known to have several weapons.

Eventually, a confidential informant was able to purchase marijuana, and authorities then obtained a search warrant. The investigation continues, including looking into whether any of the weapons were stolen.

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