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An anonymous tip led investigators to find a stash of marijuana plants hidden inside the closet of a Lancaster home earlier this month.
Shane Cecil Harris, 37, 3055 Harris Hill Road, was arrested April 6 and charged with manufacturing marijuana, said Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Matt Shaw.
The arrest came four days after someone called the sheriff’s office to report that marijuana plants were being grown inside a home in the 3000 block of Harris Hill Road, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.
Investigators went there and questioned a woman who told them Harris had several marijuana plants in the master bedroom closet, the report said.
She gave consent for investigators to enter and search the bedroom closet, where they discovered nine marijuana plants and several pieces of growing equipment, the report said.
“Harris arrived on scene and advised investigators that the marijuana belonged to him,” a deputy wrote in the report. “Harris stated that he was short on money and grew the marijuana to earn some extra cash.”
The plants and equipment were seized from the home and placed into evidence.
Harris was not immediately arrested, though after further investigation, deputies returned a few days later to arrest him.
Shaw said manufacturing marijuana is considered a felony under South Carolina law.
Though major marijuana-growing operations are not common in Lancaster County, Shaw said investigators often find smaller operations like this one.
“Over the years we’ve found several places where people are growing out in the woods or fields, so it does happen,” he said.
Often if someone is growing marijuana, the plants are found tucked away inside bedrooms or basements, Shaw said.
“It’s more on the smaller scale where they’re growing in their bedroom or in a house, or where they have 10 to 15 plants in the woods behind a house,” he said. “There’s not too many large-scale marijuana growing operations here, but on a small scale we do have some for sure.”
Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416