Investigators: 70 marijuana plants found at Hephzibah home

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW) -- A man is in jail and a neighborhood's relieved after deputies bust a home brimming with marijuana.

Deputies seize 77 pot plants and 20 pounds of dried marijuana from inside a home on Fairington Drive. They had to use a U-haul to get it all out. But, for some, the biggest concern is what sat right beside the house.

Right through the trees in Robert Fultz's backyard is Deer Chase Elementary School, and parents had no idea.

It was a sight even investigators couldn't believe.

"Once we got in there, we found over 77 plants, several pounds of finished product, dried marijuana," Richmond County's Sgt. Jason Vinson said.

A tip led officers to Fultz's home where they say every room was used to grow weed.

"Every room served a different purpose for the actual grow itself. Had a lighting system in every room along with a ventilation going through all the walls," Vinson described.

It's a sophisticated but illegal system hidden in plain sight, but once news was out, parents were shocked.

"Oh my gosh!" parent Regina Lane exclaimed as she watched the report on News 12. "I just still cannot believe all of this marijuana."

What's even worse, if you take a short drive around the corner from the house on Fairington Drive, you end up at a school. Deer Chase Elementary sits less than a thousand feet away.

"It's really a great concern because my daughter walks to school," Lane said.

She can see the school's roof from her front yard as she watches her daughter's every step, but what she didn't know was that right over the hill and through that treeline, sat the house filled with pot.

"That volume? I mean, he could reach so many of these kids out here," Lane said.

Now, Robert Ray Fultz is in jail. The pot is gone, and with it left Lane's worries her kids could walk right into trouble.

"I'm relieve. I'm very much so relieved, because it could have been so much worse," she said.

Deputies say much of the pot was already packaged and priced depending on the different breeds of the plant.

Fultz, 64, is in custody facing manufacturing marijuana, trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school zone, and possession of firearm during commission of a crime.

Investigators found more than 70 marijuana plants and 20 pounds of dried marijuana at a home on the 3000 block of Fairington Drive in Hephzibah Thursday evening, Sgt. Glehn Rahn with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office said. A gun was also seized at the home.




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