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Last updated: Fri. Nov. 11, 2011 - 10:35 am EDT

Pair indicted in high-tech indoor pot farm on Fairfield

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FORT WAYNE — A federal grand jury in Fort Wayne handed down indictments against two men accused of running a marijuana growing operation on the city’s south side.

Isaac V. Hyser, 34, and Trampas A. Sheets, 29, were each indicted on a single count of manufacturing a controlled substance – specifically, more than 100 marijuana plants.

Sheets was also indicted on a count of maintaining a building for the purpose of manufacturing, storing and distributing marijuana.

The two appeared in U.S. District Court on Thursday to answer to the indictments, and U.S. District Magistrate Judge Rodger Cosbey ordered them held behind bars while the case is pending, according to court documents.

In October, agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration raided a home at 6009 Fairfield Ave. after weeks of surveillance indicated the likely presence of a marijuana growing operation.

When the agents and local law enforcement officers raided the home on Oct. 27, they found a “large and sophisticated marijuana growing operation,” according to court documents.

Younger plants were growing in the basement complete with a ventilation system and under artificial light. Mature plants were growing on the main floor, and the kitchen housed chemicals, pH stabilizers and fertilizers, according to court documents.

Carbon dioxide tanks were placed around the house to foster better plant growth, according to court documents.

Five bags of processed marijuana were inside a living room closet, and more than 5 pounds of marijuana was found in the kitchen.

Agents counted a total of 309 live marijuana plants, 67 plants that had just been harvested, and some bundles of cash, according to court documents.

When interviewed by investigators, Hyser said Sheets was primarily responsible for the growing operation but admitted to watering the plants and tending to them when Sheets was not around.

According to the indictment, the government also seeks the forfeiture of any property obtained using the proceeds from the manufacture of drugs.

Allen Superior Court records indicate that Sheets has no prior criminal history. Hyser pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary in the late 1990s, according to court records.

rgreen@jg.net


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