SARDIS, W.Va. — A Harrison County man has been arrested on felony drug charges after authorities seized 234 marijuana plants from his farm.

Howard Hickey Jr. was found operating an illicit marijuana grow on his farm in Sardis after a search warrant was executed by the Harrison County Street Crimes and Drug unit, the Sheriff’s Departments SWAT team, Patrol Deputies and members of the Natural Resources Police on Thursday.

SCAD seized 234 marijuana plants, eight firearms, weighing scales and other items associated with marijuana cultivation.

The seized marijuana plants have a street value of $2,000 each and –if they were allowed to grow to maturity– could potentially produce a pound of consumable marijuana per plant, meaning authorities potentially brought in $468,000 worth of plants.

A tip about the operation two weeks prior to the arrest alerted SCAD Deputies, who then began a convert surveillance on the marijuana fields and eventually filmed Hickey tending the marijuana plants.

Once it was confirmed Hickey was the sole operator, the search warrant was obtained and executed.

Hickey is in custody and has been charged with two felony counts; Cultivation of Marijuana and Possession of Marijuana with intent to cultivate.

He was taken before Harrison County Magistrate Warren Davis where his bond was set at $100,000 cash.

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  • Bob Smithers

    " Plants could potentially produce a pound each" ? Never gonna happen folks,only in very rare instances.2 ounces,cut and dry,from a mature plant is about the average for a outdoor grown plant in WV.More government bs.Take it from a former farmer.

  • David

    The real value of the plants pales in comparison to the amount of money the police wasted on this.

    Besides this man was actually creating economic activity instead of just sucking tax dollars from hardworking people's wallets.

    • Tina

      And keeping it in WV

  • David

    If it was the governors brother growing this weed they wouldn't have bothered with it.

    They overvalue the stuff to make headlines sensational.

    Look at the guns! They all a bunch of old guns grandpa had!

    I'm surprised Goodwin didn't get his big head in the picture!

  • Fred

    Good luck, Howard!

  • Cynara

    Well, don't we all feel so much safer now. \sarcasm

    I'm sure the police will be glad to burn the captured plants.


    What a joke dope is dope but the government wants to control it so they can find a way to pocket money!! I say get rid of all forms of dope / drugs. & harsh jail time foe anyone who is caught with it!!! hang the bastards!!!

    • conchop

      I said it in another comment and I'll say it to you too: why don't we send you the BILL for this enforcement action. I'm getting pretty damned tired of spending my tax dollars on this stupid, idiotic, and UN AMERICAN Cannabis prohibition. I'd rather my tax dollars go to education, healthcare, infrastructure, and other successful American endeavors ...

      • GregG

        I couldn't agree more conchop. They could go after the meth makers and pill pusher.......but doing that would cut into the profits of big business. Can't be doing that!!! Makes for better headlines to go after a person that is growing something in their back yard for free.

    • David Kennedy

      Why would they take this man's gun collection? Just a few good pieces...all of it for hunting and even a black powder squirrel rifle.
      None are military style weapons that would be used for defending a pot farm.
      I hope this man gets his personal property back...but branded as a felon after this is all over...I'm sure the Judge and the lawyers will divide them up.

      • conchop

        All his property will be forfeited - a real bastardization of American freedom. If he was a Wall St. Banker that just made off with a zillion bucks, he'd be given a pass. If he was the Governors brother, who knows, maybe he'd get Manchin's old car ...

  • Ridiculous

    The government is supposed to be for the people, by the people. Based on the only comments so far, I'd say we are headed in the wrong direction. Go after the docs giving prescription pills and meth labs.....what a waste of tax dollars- most those guns are probably used for hunting.....guess some cop got his 15 minutes of fame though

    • leroy

      quit demanding the narcotics and maybe the doctors will stop prescribing it, americans are a bunch of pussies. cant stand a little pain, wayyyyy!!

  • MOCO man

    Sorry folks, last time I checked........growing pot is against the law. This dude made the decision to take a chance by growing an illegal drug.........go to prison dude. Hopefully it will never be legal in this state. Just what we need, more people high on pot to go with the pill heads and the meth users...........

    • leroy

      its bad enough no one in this state can pass a drug test to get a job

    • Greenbriergreen

      Well MOCO man it looks like you are showing how inorgant minds work!
      The only thing I see happening is a waste of tax dollers on something petty while pills and heroine take over.

  • Mr. Nice Guy

    Get with the times, Mary Jane is legal in two states already with more in the way. This is a crime without a victim, where the punishment is much worse than the actual crime, and it's a waste of taxpayer dollars. Marijuana is less intoxicating than alchohol by far. There are an estimated 30,000 alchohol related deaths each year, but not one marijuana related death (that's quite a difference.) The only reason it's not totally legal is because the "man" can't regulate and tax it as easily as alchohol. A grown man should be able to make the choice as to wether or not they should smoke marijuana. God put plants on the earth for man to use as he sees fit. Life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it's the American way

    • nick

      God put poison ivy on this planet as well, does that mean we can eat and smoke it

      • Jason412


        You certainly can, and have the choice, to eat and smoke all the poison ivy you want.

        If you decide to eat poison ivy, should we tarnish your record so that for the rest of your life you can't find a good job? Or should we chalk it up as a stupid mistake that hurt no one but yourself?

    • leroy

      there is stoned driving which has caused deaths, you cant tell me that someone blitzed out on pot can drive a car very well

    • Mr. Nice Guy

      The founding fathers of our country also grew marijuana. That's right George Washington grew pot, but they called it hemp (May have been a little different) but still pot.
      It even sounds funny when you think about it, police "convertly" watching a guy tending to PLANTS and arresting him. They're just plants people. Get over it!

      • ViennaGuy

        - That's right George Washington grew pot, but they called it hemp (May have been a little different) -

        Smoking hemp won't get you high, so I'd say there's a big difference.

        Hemp and pot are related, but different.

        • conchop

          Its all cannabis - just depends on the cultivar ...

          • ViennaGuy

            Is that not what I said?

        • Jason412

          The main difference in WV, besides obvious potency, is hemp is legal to grow and possess.

      • Mr. Nice Guy

        I would also like to add, that it should not be used around children, just like beer, wine , and liqueur it can, and should be used responsibly

  • northforkfisher

    They were using a plane to search the mountains around here today. The plane made trips up and down both sides of the river.

  • Jim N Charleston

    Government picking on another farmer. #1 Cash Crop in WV. Willie and Farm Aid did it for farmers just like this.

    Another farmer will lose it all.

    I'm Jim N Daytona Beach

  • checkyourwords

    Sorry to nit-pick but the word "covert" should have been used instead of "convert" when talking about the surveillance on the fields.

    • Mr. Nice Guy

      84 "shake n bake" meth labs, now that's a whole different story that stuff destroys peoples lives. We need to focus on heroine, cocaine, and meth' not plants
      Ok I feel better now that I got that off my chest

  • any major dude

    I guess there's no felony charge for the firearms because they were never used in the commission of this crime. Bet he doesn't get them back though....

  • Tom

    What a waste of resources , go get. Meth labs. It's a Weed

    • ViennaGuy

      What makes you think that they're NOT busting meth labs?

  • Savage

    Looks like we have a new head of the prison gardens.