Second indoor marijuana operation seized

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Barry County Sheriff's Department and the Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force seized a second large hydroponic marijuana growing operation in a shop near Jenkins on Nov. 17.

"We got more dope off the street, and I am pleased," said Mick Epperly, Barry County sheriff. "That's what we work for."

The Jenkins residents were in the process of losing their electricity service, when the sheriff's department was notified of the constant high electricity charges.

"The electricity didn't fluctuate like it would if they were running a welder or something out here," said Epperly. "It stayed the same like the temperature inside was constant and they were running a bunch of lights."

When law enforcement officials began their investi-gation, they found a connection between the Jenkins residents and Thomas B. Golden, who was arrested in Ridgley with a similar operation earlier in November.

"They are secluded and out of the way of traffic out here," said Epperly. "The building looks like a garage from the outside."

After observing the property on various occasions, the sheriff's department responded to the residence with a search warrant early Thursday morning.

"We could smell the marijuana before we entered the building," said Epperly. "We took two into custody, a husband and wife."

The sheriff's department arrested Brian L. Annecharico, 31, and Elizabeth D. Annecharico, 23. A small child was also present at the time of arrest.

Officers cut the pad locks off of the shop doors to enter the make-shift marijuana growing building. They found two operational growing rooms, with a third room under construction. The building held 210 marijuana plants in various stages of growth.

"The other operation had more plants," said Epperly, "but this one had the potential to take off and be quite an operation. "Here they are expanding the operation in a way that no one questions what they are doing," said Epperly.

Epperly believes the Annecharicos moved to Barry County around eight months ago. The Sheriff's Department has found information linking the couple to Florida and Texas.

"We are starting to see them take more of the grows inside," said Epperly. "I'm sure there are more out there, and if we get information on them, we will act like we did on this one.

"I can't praise the Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force enough for what they do," said Epperly. "They spend numerous hours on searches, putting away illegal activity."

The Annecharicos were charged with production of a controlled substance, a class B felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class D felony. Bond was set at $76,000 for each.

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