May 4, 2012. On May 1, 2012, a joint operation was conducted by the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division and Boone Narcotics in which approximately 35 lbs of marijuana was seized. The search warrant was the culmination of a one year investigation which began in early 2011.
Detectives seized 35 marijuana plants found at different stages of the manufacturing process, ranging from 2ft to 6ft in height at the residence of 1221 Stone Mountain Road, Vilas. The residence was considered to be a “grow house;” meaning, the house was used for the sole purpose of manufacturing marijuana. Because of the hazardous conditions due to the mold from the marijuana growing, detectives treated the grow operation as a meth lab, working to dismantle the grow using SCBA’s.
A second search warrant was executed on 2145 Stone Mountain Road, the primary residence of Shannon Townsend and Alani Delrios. During the execution of the search warrant, detectives seized approximately 2 lbs of marijuana and $20, 100 in US currency.
Shannon Lee Townsend and Alani Heather Delrios were charged with Trafficking in Marijuana by Manufacture, Trafficking in Marijuana by Possession, Maintaining a Dwelling CS (F), Manufacture Marijuana, PWISD Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Del Rios was arrested and placed under a $25, 000 secured bond. Townsend has not yet been taken into custody.
Michael Biven, Thomas Joseph Murphy and Scott Edward Townsend were charged with Trafficking in Marijuana by Manufacture, Trafficking in Marijuana by Possession, Maintaining a Dwelling CS (F), and Manufacture Marijuana. All three individuals were placed under a $25,000 secured bond. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.