MJPD bust pot growing operation

{phocagallery view=category|categoryid=3|imageid=373|displayname=0|float=left}Once inside, officers allegedly smelled a burnt marijuana odor and marijuana plants were discovered when an officer saw them growing outside a window in the backyard.

Wethington consented to a search of his bedroom where officers reportedly found rolling papers, marijuana seeds, a pipe and two digital scales. The remainder of the property was searched and officers located more rolling papers, pipes and synthetic marijuana.

A total of eight marijuana plants were discovered. MJPD Community Policing Director Sgt. Tyler Chandler said the street value of the marijuana could have reached $6,500, but in its current state he said the plants were worth about $2,000.

Wethingtons residence is 239 feet away from Hickory Grove Presbyterian Church, located at 84 S. Greenhill Road, and is 823 feet away from Green Hill Church at 13251 Lebanon Road. Both churches operate daycares that have children present daily.

Wethington was arrested and booked into the Wilson County Jail. He was released on July 4. He is charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of Salvia Divinorum, an illegal synthetic drug.

Wethington is also charged with violating the Drug Free School Zone, or Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-432, which creates a drug-free zone of 1,000 feet around the physical location of a school or daycare. Violations of the zone bring enhanced penalties such as fines but not increased incarceration.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.