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May 24, 2014

Man pleads guilty to drug charges

MILLEDGEVILLE — Mitchell Dee Owens, 57, pleaded guilty Friday to drug manufacturing and sale charges stemming from an indoor grow operation drug bust by the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force.

Owens pleaded guilty to one count of manufacturing marijuana and one count of sale of marijuana, according to Stephen Bradley, Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Chief Assistant District Attorney.

"He received a sentence of 10 years," he said. "He was on probation but his probation was revoked."

Charges stem from a drug bust that happened April 3. The task force, along with the Milledgeville Police Department and the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office, executed a search warrant at 3004 Tomlinson Road at approximately 5:30 p.m. and discovered the residence was being used for an indoor marijuana growing operation. According to Commander Wesley Nunn of the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force, officials confiscated approximately 225 marijuana plants from the home. The plants were being grown by elaborate hydroponic methods and equipment. Various types of hydroponic equipment, a large amount of cash and other items associated with the grow operation were seized.

"He really had his system worked out to a sophisticated level of growth and operation," Nunn said.

Nunn, who has several years of service on his resume, said the operation was like no other he has seen.

Owens and his wife, Mechelle Owens, 50, were the owners of Bluz Tattoz, 1692B N. Columbia St.

At the time of the investigation, Nunn said information received by the task force revealed that the marijuana operation also supported the business.

The day after the drug bust, at approximately 4 p.m., law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant for the tattoo shop. All equipment was seized from the establishment and business operations were shut down.

Mechelle Owens was charged with one count of manufacturing marijuana. Bradley said her case has not yet gone to court.

"I feel this was a good day," Nunn said. "We managed to shut down a major supplier of marijuana who was selling within this county and surrounding areas."

The Ocmulgee Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional drug task force funded by the Criminal Justice Council (CJCC) with cash matching funds from local law enforcement agencies to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute drug related crimes. It works alongside law enforcement agencies from Baldwin, Wilkinson, Washington, Putnam, Morgan and Greene counties.   

 

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