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Wednesday, Columbus County Sheriff’s Deputies seized hundreds of thousands of dollars in marijuana plants, shutting down a growing house. The Sheriff’s Department had been eying the house on Andrew Jackson Highway in Chadbourn for about three months. That’s a long time to sit on a known marijuana operation, but Sheriff Chris Batten wanted to wait for activity. The house has been vacant for quite some time. "As far as being an indoor operation, this is a pretty big operation for what we’ve discovered in Columbus County," Batten said. "We’ve got approximately 120-150 plants. We haven’t done an inventory yet, but more than likely that’s a street value of $150,000 – $200,000." The growing house is now history. The marijuana plants, most of them fairly large, got packed up and loaded into the Sheriff’s trailer. Two men were taken into custody after the drug sting – Michael Kessler and Jay Dancy. They’re both being held under a $50,000 secured bond at the Columbus County Law Enforcement Center. Kessler admitted his guilt to WWAY, and revealed his medical condition. "I’ve got terminal cancer and I already have a life sentence," Kessler said. When WWAY reporter John Rendleman asked Kessler if he was serious about having cancer, Kessler replied "Yes sir, there’s some proof for you. I got cancer. I grow pot. I smoke it to maintain instead of doing harder drugs, and this is what happens." Kessler lifted up his shirt, revealing to John a large scar on his stomach. Kessler and Dancy both have residences in Florida, and own vehicles registered in Florida. The house was rented from two individuals in South Carolina. The Sheriff’s office is now looking into the landlord’s involvement. Kessler and Dancy are both charged with two counts of trafficking marijuana.

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8 Comments on "Deputies shut down marijuana growing house"

2015 years 10 months ago

Did you not read that they seized 120-150 plants. If the kid wants to grow 1-2 plants for personal use that is a different story. There is was some money in the set-up they had and I guarantee he might smoke but he is not Cheech & Chong! The plants would be harvested and sold to the general public and if you do not see that you are blind.

Symaothetic Ear
2015 years 10 months ago

It is time to legalize cannabis for medical use! Do not punish the sick for medicating themselves. Alcohol is so much worse! People die from it everyday but you can pick it up 6 days a week. And for all you bible thumpers out there God put the plant here for us to use just like corn and cotton.

2015 years 10 months ago

What do you mean by it is about time these two
were caught?? You act like they are big time
dealers?? I guess you are lucky enough not to
have experienced cancer or stomach problems
in your life.

2015 years 10 months ago

It’s about time that these two were caught….

2015 years 10 months ago

I cant stand how so many people jump all over these stories like its a big deal. Everyone in their right mind knows cannabis will be legalized eventually. Until then the government will continue to suck up our tax dollars.

120-150 plants isnt all that much. Maybe he was getting one big grow out of the way so he would have enough to supply him until he killed over. Also growing 2 plants at a time wouldnt suffice. He would easily be out of the cannabis before he can grow more plants as marijuana plants have about a 4-6 month growing period. 120-150 Plants would probably only last him about 2 years.

2015 years 10 months ago

120-150 That’s a lot of plants growing at one time just for personal use. Marijuana is illegal any way you look at it, and it leads to harder drugs. This person who has cancer could have seeked legal treatment from a doctor like everyone else. Though I do feel sorry for the man that had cancer, I am thankful for the great job that the Columbus County Sheriffs department did by busting this house.

2015 years 10 months ago

First of all, marijuana does not cause people to do hard drugs. The only support to that is saying it is accessed through “criminals” drug dealers who might just sell other illegal substances. Marijuana has been proven to be less of a determinant of future harder drug dependencies than cigarette smoking. The ONLY reason it could ever lead one to using harder drugs is that its illegality forces you to find outlets in the black market.
While that is a lot of plants,maybe its his first time growing. Maybe he is assuming that some of the plants wont make it all the way, or the possibility of a small yield. That would only leave him with a years supply, and maybe a little for his friend helping him.
It needs to be legalized and controlled like alcohol. Get organized crime out of a major source of revenue. Its the only way to make it safe. We learned this during the prohibition of alcohol guys…
You can legally make your own wine as long as you dont sell it right?
Check Out: The Union (movie), NORML, MPP (organizations), Wooten Report, Le Guardia Committee…

2015 years 10 months ago

I think it’s time for the state of North Carolina to reconsider their war on drugs. It’s expensive, achieves nothing, and empowers criminals.

Enough is enough – we simply can’t afford it anymore.

Check out the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition website:



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