Police reported that two unemployed Covington men were arrested on drug charges for allegedly growing marijuana with the intent to sell it to catch up on their bills.
Walter Williams, 57 and his 27-year-old son-in-law, Steven Black, were arrested after investigators with the Special Investigation Unit (SIU), saw marijuana plants growing behind the family home on Ellis Road.
According to Lt. Phillip Bradford, investigators received a complaint that someone was growing marijuana behind their house.
Police reported that family members said that Black smoked marijuana and they decided to plant some of the seeds to see if it would grow. When the marijuana plants started growing well, Black and Williams decided to sell it.
“In their statements they said the family had been living on Steven’s unemployment check, which is scheduled to run out soon,” said Bradford. “They were behind on the bills so they decided that since Walt(er) and Steven couldn’t find work they would try to grow and sell the marijuana and would stop once they were caught up on the bills… They said the only reason they were doing it was so they could catch up on the bills.”
Because they could not go onto Williams’ property, Bradford and agent Brandon Raines approached the back of the home by going through the woods on a neighboring property. From there they could clearly see the plants growing in a makeshift garden in the back yard which allowed for a search warrant to be granted for the property on Ellis Road.
When Bradford and other agents served the warrant they found Williams and Black, along with his wife (Williams’ daughter) and two small children living in the home. Black and his wife had moved in with Williams several months ago after moving to Newton County from their home in Florida when Black lost his job.
Both men were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and cultivation of marijuana. Agents reported that Black’s wife had no active part in the cultivation and was not charged.