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UCSD discovers man growing marijuana

From Staff Reports

The Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department has arrested an individual from the Ball Creek community of Spivey Mountain for growing marijuana, possessing marijuana and the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to Sheriff Mike Hensley, Kenny L. Gouge, 28, 175 Ken Gouge Road, Erwin, was arrested at his residence on Aug. 16. Gouge has been charged with manufacturing a schedule VI controlled substance, possessing a schedule VI controlled substance, possessing a schedule III controlled substance, possessing drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Deputies went to the defendant’s home in the Ball Creek community with the Tennessee Department of Corrections to conduct a home check as part of the defendant’s probation agreement.

“While at the residence, officers observed marijuana plants that had been harvested drying in a vehicle outside the residence,” Hensley said. “Officers observed spent ammunition casings outside the house, around the porch area. Deputies conducted a search of the premises and additional marijuana plants were found growing near the garden area. Two firearms, including an AR-15 assault rifle, was found. Deputies had prior knowledge that the defendant had been charged with a felony in the past, making this possession of a rifle illegal.”

During a search of Gouge’s person he was reportedly found to be in possession and pharmaceutical drugs. He was arrested and taken to the Unicoi County Jail for booking. When Gouge appeared in court on Aug. 17, he probation was violated. His bond was set at $40,000, according to Hensley.