JEFFERSON DAVIS COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Two brothers have been charged with manufacturing a controlled substance in connection to a large marijuana growing operation discovered in Jefferson Davis County.
Randy Thompson and his younger brother, Darren Fortenberry, were arrested and charged after local, state and federal law enforcement agencies busted the grow after a surveillance operation.
Fortenberry was arrested Monday and Thompson was arrested Tuesday. Both have had their initial court appearances.
Thompson was released on his own recognizance due to a medical condition. Fortenberry’s bond was set at $150,000. Fortenberry was released after posting bond Wednesday.
An official with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics said the grow was located on property owned by the family of the suspects.
The massive operation included seven growing fields covering around 40 acres of land. Agents seized nearly 70,000 marijuana plants with a street value of around $70 million.
MBN Director John Dowdy said all of the plants have been destroyed.
Dowdy said he suspects this growing operation is connected to a similar operation that was busted in Jefferson Davis County in 2017. Dowdy compared the grow to operations often run by drug cartels.
MBN officials said more arrests are expected in the case.