Joint investigation ends in two guilty pleas

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    MOUNT IDA – Two local men entered guilty pleas January 5 on charges stemming from a coordinated operation involving several law enforcement agencies last September.
    Ricky Eldon Smith, age 63 of Story, plead guilty to one count each of manufacturing marijuana a schedule VI controlled substance, a class A felony, and possession of a schedule VI controlled substance with purpose to deliver, a class C felony as part of a plea agreement entered into with the prosecuting attorney’s office.
    He was sentenced to 120 months supervised probation and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $554.60 in court costs and fees.
    According to documents obtained at the Montgomery County Clerk’s Office Smith was arrested September 16, 2015 after officers in a helicopter located a possible marijuana grow operation at Smith’s residence.
    Documents state that officers discovered a significant amount of marijuana and paraphernalia.
    The officers allegedly confiscated 75 marijuana plants, three gallons of marijuana buds, a gallon bag of marijuana seeds, five small plastic baggies filled with marijuana, a wooden container with marijuana shake, four firearms, a digital scale, and other drug paraphernalia.
    The same joint operation also resulted in the arrest of Mark David Lebow, age 42 of Oden.
    The reports state that members of the helicopter crew spotted a white male subject moving suspected marijuana plants to a chicken house at a residence near Oden.
    Officers made contact with at the residence. They were given consent by Lebow to search the property.
    Six plants were allegedly confiscated, along with marijuana located in a first aid kit and in a coffee can found in the refrigerator. They also located a marijuana bud hanging from clothes pins.
    Lebow plead guilty to one count of manufacturing marijuana a schedule VI controlled substance, a class C felony as part of a plea agreement entered into with the prosecuting attorney’s office.
    He was sentenced to 48 months supervised probation and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $310 in court costs and fees.