Two men face drug charges after 400+ marijuana plants found in St …

ST. MARYS, W.Va. (WTAP) – Two men are in the Pleasants County Jail, after deputies serving a protection order discovered over 400 marijuana plants in a St. Marys home.

It happened around 7:30 Sunday night, when 2 Pleasants County Sheriff’s deputies and a K-9 unit went to serve a domestic violence protection order to Michael Johnson at a home on Live Oak Lane.

When deputies arrived at the home, they found 3 men there, and informed Johnson they were searching his home for firearms, because the petitioner of the protection order told deputies that guns were inside Johnson’s home.

Inside the home, deputies found 3 men, over 400 marijuana plants in different stages of growth, and over $5,000 worth of equipment being used in a hydroponic growth operation, as well as a U-Haul truck that investigators believe was used to transport drugs.

Deputies arrested 2 men, James Duncan and the home’s owner, Michael Johnson, who is from Parkersburg.

Pleasants County Sheriff’s deputy Sarah McFarland says,

“Mr. Johnson is from Parkersburg and he actually found this place out in the middle of backwoods Pleasants County, because he thought it was a safe place. We’re finding that these people are bringing their drugs from Parkersburg, thinking that they are going to get away with it up here, and it’s just not going to happen under our watch.”

Deputies say James Duncan had no prior criminal record, but Michael Johnson was on federal parole for an unrelated charge.

Both men were arraigned Monday afternoon in Pleasants County Magistrate Court.

Duncan is being charged with one count of conspiracy to cultivate marijuana, and his bond was set at $50,000.

Johnson was charged with cultivation of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. His bond was set at $500,000, which Pleasants County Magistrate Court says is the highest bond they’ve ever set for a suspect.

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