Tornado Blows the Lid Off Weed Grow Operation

Decatur County, Tennessee was hard hit this past week when an EF-1 tornado ripped through the area. The twister destroyed homes, uprooted trees and tore rooftops off trailers, as 100-mile winds left debris strewn everywhere. 

The day after, Sheriff Keith Byrd drove around the area to assess the damage and it was significant.

While taking photos, he noticed a “pile of green leafy material that looked like it didn’t belong where it was.” 

Oh…that green leafy material keeps turning up in the strangest places. 

In addition to uprooted weed plants, they discovered some more out-of-place green stuff.

“When I found those, then we got to looking through the rubble, and we found more plants,” Byrd said. “And we found containers and piping and grow lights and things that were part of this hydroponic grow operation.” 

The sheriff told WBBJ TV that they recovered about 28 pounds of weed from the property around a mobile home and are searching for the man who lived there.

Resident of the home, John Ernest Tidwell, is facing charges for the manufacture of marijuana and the possession of drug paraphernalia.

“I’m very sympathetic to him losing his home. I mean, I feel very badly that he did,” Byrd said. “But I’m not the least bit sympathetic that he was in our county violating the law.”

The sheriff’s department got a call from an individual, who identified himself as Tidwell’s attorney, confirming that the now homeless weed farmer intends to turn himself in soon.

Thankfully, there were no injuries as a result of the tornado, just the loss of a lot of healthy green material.

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