Authorities in southwest Iowa dismantled some major marijuana growing operations this week.
Montgomery County Sheriff Joe Sampson says plants were seized from three homes – one in Elliott and two in Red Oak. He says the 1,400 plants are valued at roughly $1.5 million.
The biggest bust happened Wednesday night at the Red Oak home of 39-year-old Richard Jenkins. “We recovered 1,244 marijuana plants at that residence along with equipment for the growing and manufacturing of marijuana,” Sampson said.
Jenkins is charged with manufacturing marijuana and meth. Thirty-nine-year-old Jason Ray Cornelison of Red Oak is facing similar charges after 63 plants were taken from his home earlier in the day.
Sheriff Sampson believes the drug busts could put a big dent in marijuana trafficking in the region. “They had to be selling quite a bit of it,” Sampson said. Two other men arrested at the Cornelison home are charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. They’re identified as 34-year-old Joseph Uhlmann and 26-year-old Matthew Gusman both of Red Oak.
Sampson says more arrests are possible.