Hawkins County

Firefighters find marijuana growing operation

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. - Hawkins County firefighters responded to a house fire and found themselves in the middle of a massive marijuana growing operation.

The fire was in the Pressman's Home area of the county. Firemen discovered that two of the three bedrooms had been converted into grow rooms.

The home contained over 50 marijuana plants. Officers also seized 15 pounds of marijuana with a street value over $48,000. The home contained approximately $20,000 worth of equipment used in the manufacturing process. A car and cash were also seized by investigators.

Dominic Puleo was charged with manufacturing marijuana and other charges. Michael Bantis, Sr. and Patricia Lindsay were charged with criminal responsibility for the manufacture of marijuana and maintaining a dwelling for drug

The suspects are being  held on a $75,000 bond pending a July 21 arraignment.

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