Officials: Teen being raised in alleged marijuana grow house - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Officials: Teen being raised in alleged marijuana grow house

Lee Edward Holloman and Amanda Laree James (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.) Lee Edward Holloman and Amanda Laree James (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
HELENA, MS (WLOX) -

Two Jackson County siblings are accused of turning the family home in Helena into a marijuana grow house. Drug agents said Thursday afternoon they found dozens of plants inside the house that Lee Holloman, 37, shares with his sister Amanda James, 39. Both have been charged with felony cultivation of marijuana while in possession of a firearm. Friday afternoon, a judge ordered a $15,000 bond for each of them.

Drug agents said Holloman and James inherited the house on Glen Hollow Road from their parents. Now instead of family time, the brother and sister could be facing jail time if convicted.

A tip led the Jackson County Narcotics Division to the home where drug agents said they became suspicious before they even knocked on the door.

"When we got to this home, as soon as we got in the front yard we could smell the odor of green marijuana," said Lt. Ken McClenic, Jackson County Narcotics Division Supervisor. "We made contacts with the homeowner and he refused consent and we secured the residence and obtained a search warrant."

Once inside, drug agents said they found about 100 marijuana plants growing in what officials described as a sophisticated set up, including power supplies and light sources. Officials said one grow room was in a bedroom and another in the garage.

"There was a room that was added inside the garage just to be grow room. It looks like an electrician had went in there and done some electrical work," said Lt. McClenic. "Of course, there was fans and ventilation. That was the largest grow room."

Officials said Mississippi has an aggressive focus on detecting marijuana using helicopter flyovers. Because of that, more growers are changing strategies and moving indoors to escape aerial detection.

"The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics has had a strong eradication in the past. I think they pretty much had fine tuned their abilities to spot marijuana from the air," said Lt. McClenic. "I think the growers caught on to that and so indoor grows is becoming more and more popular with the growers to keep law enforcement from finding them."

The 15-year-old girl living in the home has been taken into custody by the Department of Human Services. Officials said the girl is James' daughter and they expect more criminal charges to follow.

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