Sheriff Keith Slape said on Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 an Investigator with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office and a Corporal with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission were on patrol in the area of the community of Bass when they observed, from the road, what appeared to be large marijuana plants growing in plain view near a residence. The officers looked closer at the plants with binoculars and confirmed their suspicions.
The officers attempted to make contact with the residents, but no one was home. They then more closely inspected the plants and found them to be large, healthy and well maintained plants with a water hose running to them. The plants had been hidden behind wooden pallets, but had grown too big for the pallets to conceal.
Sitting along the county road in front of the residence was a large Gooseneck trailer that matched the description of one reported stolen to Newton County authorities in recent days. A check of the serial number confirmed it was the same trailer. Also located in plain view on the property was a stolen Kubota side by side UTV, two canoes, a John Deer Lawn Mower, and a large box blade. All these items had been stolen from the same victim. Also located in plain view were several other marijuana plants.
A search warrant was obtained for the property. Officers located a gun that had been stolen from Pope County, several items of drug paraphernalia, some processed drugs, several other firearms, and some explosives.
The Arkansas State Police Bomb Squad was contacted about the explosives.
No arrests were made at the time of the search, but the Sheriff’s Office has known suspects and arrests are pending. Other items stolen from the victim were not located, but the Sheriff’s Office has information on who was helping the suspects move the property and more property is expected to be found soon.
Sheriff Keith Slape said “It’s so frustrating for the good citizens of Newton County to have to put up with thieves taking the property they work so hard to get and care for. It’s always good when we can recover stolen property and bring thieves to justice.”