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Pot charges are back on for teen son

Published 10:33 am Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Franklin County grand jury indicted all three people allegedly involved with an elaborate marijuana grow operation Wednesday, even though a judge previously dismissed one of the cases.

Kevin Barnett, 38, 200 Creekside Lane, is charged with enhanced cultivating and trafficking more than five marijuana plants.

Ciara Amey, 19, and Barnetts 18-year-old son, William Barnett, are also charged with cultivating marijuana.

William Barnetts case was previously dismissed in Franklin District Court after a Dec. 11 hearing.

Franklin District Judge Chris Olds ruled there was no probable cause to charge William Barnett because there was no proof he lived at the residence the majority of the time.

The grand jury heard the proof, and they reached a different conclusion than district court, Commonwealths Attorney Larry Cleveland said.

The charges stem from a Dec. 4 reckless driving complaint.

Franklin County Sheriffs Deputy Jeff Farmer was dispatched to Creekside Lane and Brookfield Drive to search for a white Jeep Cherokee that was described in the complaint. He found it parked at 200 Creekside Lane, Cleveland said.

When Farmer touched the hood of the SUV, it was still warm.

Farmer said during the Dec. 11 hearing that as he approached the house with the intention to speak to the driver, he could smell a strong odor of marijuana.

He said he knocked on the front door and heard scuffles inside, but no one answered the door, so he went around to the back of the house where he found Kevin Barnett leaving.

Farmer detained Barnett and waited for back up to arrive. During that time, he heard more noise inside, and when he opened the back door, he saw a 12-gauge shotgun. Upon entering the home, he saw six to eight cardboard boxes containing drying marijuana buds.

Deputies later discovered Amey was the other person inside the house, and she said she lived there, Cleveland said.

After obtaining a search warrant, deputies found an elaborate grow operation resembling an indoor greenhouse for hydroponic marijuana.

Deputies discovered high-pressure sodium lamps heating marijuana in an enclosed section of the houses basement, timers, fans, boxes of drying marijuana buds, fertilizer and six 1-pound bags of marijuana ready to sell.

During the search, William Barnett showed up and its believed he lives there at least part time and was involved, Cleveland said.

Every father and son should have a hobby, Cleveland said.

Deputies also found a ledger showing plans to make $1.2 million, and Sheriff Pat Melton estimated they were making about $100,000 a year selling pot.

Farmer said cell phones, computers and a 2009 or 2010 Lexus that was parked in the garage at the residence were also taken.

However, it is unclear why the Lexus was confiscated during the search.