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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  • me

    All the pot smokers and your land of the free. Feel free to move to a state that legalize your "cannabis" I'm sure you could find a job there. Its a proven fact that its leads to other drug use. I see it everyday. Put the bowl down. Its making you look like a fool

    • Tina

      Hi me,
      I must agree with Mr. Kennedy. I have proof it doesn't lead to stronger drugs. Also there are proven facts that it helps with many health problems. To name a few epilepsy, eating disorders, insomnia, anxiety, eye disorders and pain. This verses what anti-depressants, sleeping pills, death from starvation, hard core epilepsy drugs, anxiety meds like zanax all have side effects much worse than effects of marijuana

  • David Kennedy

    Times change and the social mores of a community change.
    This issue of pot use needs consideration and wisdom.
    I believe its for the greater good that it be legalized.
    The use of the tax resources of our police and courts demand it.
    We need the police to apprehend real criminals not our next door neighbors.
    My neighbors, btw, are good people and good workers, have held full time jobs for years and each weekend I see them having friends and family over for a burger and later, a smoke...that's their business.
    Not a crime, to me anymore...we need to change the laws.

  • MOCO man

    @ Greenbriargreen...........surely must be an East flunkie..........the job of police officers is to rid of all dope, not to pick and choose. If you could read, you would see where GBR Co. Deputies bust meth labs on the West end rather often. Pot is just a stepping stone to more drug use. If you would go get a decent job you would understand the importance of being clean and being able to function with a clear that being ignorant? Get off welfare and go pass a drug screen and get a fricken job..........

    • Greenbriergreen

      Moco man just for your personal info I am and allways have been employed.
      8 year vet from U.S.N.
      currently employed as a Biomedical Tech.
      Likely supporting your disability ridding riding but alond the way.

    • RDC

      Green, " Pot is just a stepping stone to more drug use. "
      Is this from the extensive research you have done on the issue, or is this just you spouting the BS that's been fed to you. Get your nose out of other people's lives and just live your own.

  • David Kennedy

    93 out of 100 2014 college graduates smoked pot.
    Pot is called a 'victimless crime.
    I see the victim of this crime as being the 'grower.

    It's time to join Colorado and Washington in legalizing this weed and stop wasting the time and money of the police.
    I'm wondering if it will release prior offenders when pot is made legal. Giving some room in our prison for real criminals.
    I'm not a pot smoker and never will be, but enough insanity is enough.

  • Make it legal

    What a wast of time, it should be legal and law enforcement should be after all the thieves, pill heads and meth labs. Street value $480,000, what a joke, theses cops are all going to be on comp for sore hands after patting each other on the back. Squirrels and deer will feel a little safer now that those hunting rifles and a muzzle loader are out of action

    Go after real criminals not farmers!

  • 2XLPatriot

    $2,000 a plant???!!! Damn! I just may put my raised beds and garden to other use than growing vegetables. That's a retirement plan right there!

  • conchop

    Ever since this idiotic Cannabis Prohibition began, over 24 million Americans have been hauled off to jail. That would fill up a Super Bowl Stadium 460 times. Thats an awful lot of money spent on trying to eradicate a plant that Washington, Jefferson, and Adams grew by the ton. Thats an awful lot of lives ruined by our Government for a beneficial plant that never killed or hurt anybody. WV has thousands of prisoners, sleeping on the jail house floor, and it looks like Howard Hickey Jr. is off to join them.

    You know, when you consider our State Motto, [ something about always free ] and compare it to our past years Super Bowl Teams home States, you can easily come to the conclusion that we're not so FREE at all. Had this farm been located in WA or CO, this entire episode would be nothing. The real irony is Cannabis is the largest CASH CROP in WV and has been for some time. Our State's economy would completely crash if enforcement managed 100% eradication.

    If any of you hidebound prohibitionists would actually review peer reviewed science, you'd find the human body is actually equipped with an endo-cannabinoid system that responds quite well to the medicinal effects of marijuana. When Washington, Jefferson, and Adams wrote of "India Hemp" being a "GIFT OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE", it looks like they had a point. God Forbid one of your friends or loved ones come down with some ghastly disease that cannabis will cure or remedy, and you know full well you stood against it when you see them squealing and squalling in agony. Some of you jack asses seem quite satisfied with seeing some peoples ancestors rotting in a hospital bed while cannabis growers rot in jail.

    A lot of you hidebound Bible thumper prohibitionists might learn a thing or two about cannabis in the Bible if you'd research "Kaneh-Bosem" in some of the translations - did you ever wonder what was in the anointing oil??? Funny how healers used things that were natural back in the day. Makes you wonder what Moses and Jesus would recommend that you use to heal your ill friends and family. Of course, some of you Bible Thumping jack asses would be afraid they'd actually enjoy it.

    We spend 52 BILLION DOLLARS a year on this FAILED WAR ON DRUGS in this nation so there are 52B reasons why they don't want to change it. That money is spoken for. Many industries will not make their yearly bonuses when they have to face the full competitive effects of Cannabis Production. But in reality, their profits and bonuses are insignificant when compared to the power of nature and the essence of being a free American.

    The Cannabis laws are changing in this Nation and around the world. Hopefully, Howard Hickey Jr. and his property will be one of the last casualties of this draconian and ruthless prohibition. Many Americans are seeing this as the worst public policy disasters in our Nation's history. The Reparations you Prohibitionists face will be just as ruthless as the crimes against humanity and nature you have perpetuated on the American public.

    It will be a long time before anyone else in American history tries to defy the forces of nature and American freedom again ....

  • MOCO man

    Apparently the are worth two thousand apiece as is.........and could have produced a pound of consumable pot per plant. Thank you deputies for removing this crap before it hits the streets.........maybe he should have spent his time in the garden growing produce. With all of the support on here for this drug dealer it's no wonder WV is statistically last in everything. Maybe if people spent more time being productive instead of being high on pills and dope, we could improve..........thank you deputies for a job well done!!! That was money well spent.........

    • me


    • conchop

      Here's a thought - 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 ...

    • Greenbriergreen

      "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."

  • MOCO man

    It is amazing how many dope head supporting people are on here. Guns go right along with illegal drug activity. He is cultivating what would have been nearly half a million dollar crop. No one commenting on here knows if dude was carrying during his trips to work his crop. Pot is just a stepping stone to more drug use and illegal activity. Great job to all of the officers involved. That IS what you are paid to do..........

    • Tina

      Heroin bust great news, Hickey bust not good. Really, the Hickey guy offense harms no one, keeps the money here not Pittsburg, But what the heroin dealers get 4 yrs. Hickey will lose everything. Next thing you know persons from city council and friends will be hunting on his land, building lil get aways. All bad. Wondering how many of the anti-pot folks are on "prescription DRUGS"?

    • rock solid

      @moco man: That is the problem with the whole state. If you are not on drugs, you are on welfare. Have to get enough money to buy heroin. Don't have the skills to get a real job, just get into the drug trade. No other jobs left in WVa anyway. Just puff away and watch the state go swirling down the toilet while your asshole legislature grabs all they can get and to hell with what used to be a great state. It's our BAD, can't find anyone to help in Charleston, they are too stupid to get progressive. Just more of the same old crap our politicians have been vomiting at the populus for decades. If they all fell off of a cliff it would be one of the greatest days in WVa. history.

    • Mr. Nice Guy

      It's even more amazing to see how many ignoramuses there are out there that don't see the difference between 30,000 killed by alcohol and 0 by marijuana, but alcohol is still legal because it's a very lucrative business
      don't knock it till you've tried it

      • rock solid

        @ mr. nice guy: You must br higher than a kite! 30,ooo to 0 alcohol to pot deaths? You are brain dead and don't even know it. No wonder you are in WVa. Too stupid to be anywhere else!

        • Mr. Nice Guy

          @ rock solid
          While my statistics may not be exact, they do hold some merit. You don't know me or where I live so for you to comment on my intelligence and say that it's no wonder I live in West Virginia is not only an insult to your intelligence, but also a insult to the great state of West Virginia.
          I'm not sure if you dont understand the statistics that I've posted, or you just don't want to believe them. A simple google search will show that on average 30, deaths each year can be directly attributed to the consumption of alchohol (the actual numbers may be higher.) That's just in the United States. I might also add that West Virginia has the highest death rate from prescription medications in the US. Never has there been recorded one death from an overdose of marijuana.

  • longbeards

    What a waste of tax dollars. WV Should legalize it and tax it!! I believe there is strong support for that in WV!! One has only to look at the war on drugs to see it has failed and been a total waste of tax payer dollars!!

  • GregG

    I would just like to know how much tax payer dollars have been spent just to arrest this man and how much more will be spent in court cost, jail etc...

  • BossIlluminati

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13

    ENLIGHTENMENT...i was a brainwashed evil, mean, christian conservative until i tried it at 17 years old...i hated gays, immigrants, women's rights, blacks, marijuana, i was Rush Limbaugh's #1 fan....until i smoked marijuana, changed the world....hope the EVIL POPE is enjoying the marijuana revolution around the globe, keeping the flock brainwashed and against marijuana, gays, and women's don't deny ease from pain and suffering for billions of people unless you are PURE EVIL...

    1000s of my friends and family have grown 30-99 plants for 20 years, thanks for keeping prices high and NORCAL wealthy...#1 crop in cali = $15 Billion Untaxed...

    "any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420

    from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

    20 years behind us southern states and NEW YORK (CBD=Can't Be Done), sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states and more blacks are in prison then were slaves before the civil war...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

    Deaths by Alcohol: Millions
    Deaths by Tobacco: Millions

    Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
Deaths by Guns: Millions
Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom

    love and freedom forever


    • nick

      when your buzz wears off you may want to change the 0 on your chart as we can be certain that inhaling non filtered smoke over a long term is deadly. also driving under the influence of marijuana is just as deadly as driving under the influence of alcohol

      • Mr. Nice Guy

        Research has proven that marijuana smoke does not have the same effect on the lungs as tobacco does. It's obvious that the issue here is not the harmful effects of marijuana, compared to alcohol. Alcohol kills more people in one day than marijuana has since the begining of time. It doesn't take a genius to see that, many of those killed are innocent bystanders or children who have never taken a "drink" in their lives.
        So what's it "really" about?

    • Jonesy

      So what you are saying is that if only the whole world would just smoke dope that there would be an end to hate, predjudice, war and death. What are we waitning for? You have discovered the saviour of the world! NOT!

  • Bill

    I'll never understand why law enforcement always make a big deal out of confiscating guns when making pot bust. Do they do the same for DUI's? I think they have to justify their existance as a drug eratification unit.

    • conchop

      It just makes it look like they busted John Dillinger's great grand son - good for the press ...

  • thatwasgraphic

    Just legalize marijuana already. Regulate and tax it. I’ve heard people say for decades that it is our state’s number one cash crop. The state badly needs new industry to replace coal and other extractive industries. Allow law enforcement to concentrate on meth and prescription drug abuse and quit posting silly images of some guy’s hunting rifle collection and pretending he is a hardened criminal.

  • Cigarman

    The plants aren't worth a dime until they mature!

    • Tyrone

      So true till they are mature they are not worth anything..And how many of those plants were male and how many female .. So any one with any knowledge about this plant knows that every bust they make like this one is not a true story. The female plant is the only good plant all the male plants are worthless. But when they add up the cash value they act like every plant is a female when they are not .What a joke it is any way why waste money and time on this it should be legal