By Kathi Bliss
In a continuing effort to crack down on drugs in Caldwell County, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office announced this week the discovery and dismantling of a large marijuana growing operation in the Mustang Ridge area.
Originally, deputies went to the residence on Long Hollow Road to conduct a “knock and talk” in connection with a pending burglary investigation. The individual detectives hoped to speak with was not at the residence, but another individual invited them into the home. The detectives explained they were looking for stolen property that was reported to be in the residence, and obtained a written consent to search for the property.
During the search, officers recovered two saddles, spurs and a sword, but also noted the strong smell of marijuana in the residence.
Upon further investigation, detectives located a sophisticated indoor hydroponic marijuana grow room inside the residence, and a second grow room located in another building on the property.
In total, they seized 56 marijuana plants at various stages of maturity, along with four “grow lights” and a humidifier.
The person of interest, identified by the Sheriff’s Office as 33-year-old Santos Miranda, drove by the residence while the officers were conducting the search, and fled. Officers tried unsuccessfully to stop his vehicle, which Miranda later ditched before fleeing into a nearby pasture in an attempt to escape.
Miranda has been charged with evading arrest and detention with a vehicle. Additional charges are expected, pending further investigation.