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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Loc: Flag
Cave-Grown Marijuana Operation Busted in Tennessee
    #5072827 - 12/16/05 08:36 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

I just love stories with secret tunnels...

Officials Make Largest Drug Bust in Middle Tennessee
December 16, 2005 - newschannel5.com

It's the largest marijuana drug bust in Middle Tennessee, and it's in the smallest county in the state.

Officials are on their way to Florida to pick up the third person in the drug operation, the District Attorney says could generate $8,000 per year.

Federal, state, and local investigators have shut down a huge pot growing and distribution operation in Trousdale County, in the Cato community. Officials there say marijuana was planted and growing in a cave that ran two miles long.

The head of this operation actually built his home above the cave, and had secret tunnels leading underground. The house had no furniture inside. The cave, 75 feet underground included underground offices, 800 marijuana plants, growing operations, cooling systems, heat lamps, and so much power it would sometimes knock out transformers to the entire community.

Thousands of plants and more than $50,000 were found.

Three arrests have been made, but more are expected. Brian Gibson and Greg Compton are both in jail in Trousdale County facing drug charges. Officials are on the way to Florida to pick up the third defendant, Fred Strunk.

The investigation has been going on for five years. This marijuana was not staying in the Trousdale county area. It was being trafficked out in a very sophisticated operation.

*note from veggie: That $8,000 figure is a typo. It was supposed to read $8,000,000. (see story below dated 12/29/05)


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Offlinekindadank
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Re: Officials Make Largest Drug Bust in Middle Tennessee [Re: veggie]
    #5072905 - 12/16/05 09:03 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

Damn that is a BAD ASS op...such as shame...


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Invisibledblaney
Human Being

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 7,894
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Re: Officials Make Largest Drug Bust in Middle Tennessee [Re: kindadank]
    #5073025 - 12/16/05 09:41 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

The house had no furniture inside. The cave, 75 feet underground included underground offices, 800 marijuana plants, growing operations, cooling systems, heat lamps, and so much power it would sometimes knock out transformers to the entire community.

Thousands of plants and more than $50,000 were found.




Can't even keep their facts straight.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Officials Make Largest Drug Bust in Middle Tennessee [Re: dblaney]
    #5073244 - 12/16/05 10:44 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

???  It says that 800 plants were found and then in the next paragraph it says that thousands of plants were found?

And an $8,000 dollar a year drug operation....MY GOD!!!!  Cover the children's eyes!  :lol:


Edited by RandalFlagg (12/16/05 10:45 PM)


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OfflineShroomArtist84
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Re: Officials Make Largest Drug Bust in Middle Tennessee [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #5074542 - 12/17/05 09:58 AM (8 years, 8 months ago)

what a fucking sick op.


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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Loc: Flag
Re: Officials Make Largest Drug Bust in Middle Tennessee [Re: veggie]
    #5077570 - 12/18/05 11:11 AM (8 years, 8 months ago)

update...

3 men grew pot in cave, D.A. says
December 18, 2005 - fairviewobserver.com

HARTSVILLE, Tenn. ? Investigators from the 15th Judicial District Drug Task Force found a mother lode of marijuana in the unlikeliest of places ? a cave.

Beneath a stylish A-frame home on Dixon Springs Road in eastern Trousdale County, three men allegedly set up a sophisticated operation to grow as much as 100 pounds of marijuana every eight weeks.

"It's pretty amazing what they had under there ? water for irrigation, special lighting, devices to keep the humidity just right. These guys were professionals. They knew what they were doing," said District Attorney General Tommy Thompson of Hartsville.

"They could grow in 60 days what it would take four and a half months to grow outside."

Arrested on Wednesday were Brian Gibson and Greg Compton, while a third man, Fred Strunk, was arrested near Gainesville, Fla. All three are in jail, with Gibson and Compton being held in the Trousdale County Jail. Bail was set for Gibson and Compton at $5 million, while Strunk's was set at $15 million, Thompson said. Local authorities were in Florida yesterday to return Strunk to Tennessee.

According to the district attorney general, the investigation into the operation began about five years ago when a home was built above the cave, but it never appeared anyone lived there.

"The front of the cave used to be a hole that you'd crawl into, and it opened up into a pretty big room that was 20-feet high. They cut the side of the hill so you could just drive right into the cave,'' Thompson said.

The cave, reached from the house via secret entrances, is said to be about two miles long, but the marijuana operation was located about 100 yards inside. Thompson said the other end of the cave had been blocked to keep trespassers out.

According to the prosecutor, the men told locals they were going to be mining statuary rock.

In another suspicious incident, the local electric company was asked to install a larger transformer than usually required by a residence. But apparently that was not enough electrical power to operate the grow lamps required to raise 800 marijuana plants at a time. Instead of asking the electric company for more power, the men spliced into the Tri-County Electric line and were stealing electricity, Thompson said.

"They had the operation set up so that one person could operate it during the growing season,'' he noted.

To harvest the illegal crop, Thompson said the men would hire a half-dozen Hispanic workers in Arizona and drive them to Tennessee. For part of the journey the windows on the van would be covered so the workers did not know where they were.

"They would drive right into the cave and let them out to begin working,'' the prosecutor said.

"As for distributing it, we're sure that some of it went to Nashville and other locations in the area."

There could be more arrests, but Thompson said he believes the ringleaders of the operation have already been nabbed.

"It's just unbelievable what they've done. It's like something out of a James Bond movie."


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OfflineShroomArtist84
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Re: Officials Make Largest Drug Bust in Middle Tennessee [Re: veggie]
    #5078284 - 12/18/05 03:47 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

thats fucking pure ownage


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OfflineEkstaza
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Re: Officials Make Largest Drug Bust in Middle Tennessee [Re: ShroomArtist84]
    #5078568 - 12/18/05 05:13 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

They should have known better than to use electricity from the local electricity company. The huge power usage alone would trigger suspicion.


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YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH ANY GIVEN DRUG ISN'T THE DEFINITIVE MEASURE OF THE DRUGS EFFECTS.


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InvisibleA3eyedfish
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Re: Officials Make Largest Drug Bust in Middle Tennessee [Re: Ekstaza]
    #5079122 - 12/18/05 08:00 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

with the money they made they could have easily built their own power source


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InvisibleToiletDuk
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Re: Officials Make Largest Drug Bust in Middle Tennessee [Re: veggie]
    #5080271 - 12/19/05 12:27 AM (8 years, 8 months ago)

I remember reading about that in the paper here. What a great setup! If only they had used some alternative source of power....  :frown:


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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
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Re: Cave-Grown Marijuana Operation Busted in Tennessee [Re: veggie]
    #5112652 - 12/27/05 09:34 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

Attorney discusses cave-marijuana case
December27, 2005 - wsmv.com

Some are actually calling Fred Strunk, the man accused of running a huge marijuana operation from Trousdale County cave, a criminal genius. Strunk's attorney, prominent lawyer Jack Lowery, even calls him a legitimate businessman who says he's surprised by the allegations.

Lowery maintains Strunk is innocent, and that he has never been in trouble with the law before.

"I know of nothing in his history to indicate he has a criminal background, so these allegations are somewhat kind of a surprise, I guess," said Jack Lowery, Lebanon attorney.

Lowery says Strunk came to Tennessee from California in the 1980s and caused a stir when he paid cash for the historic Belle Isle on Old Hickory Lake and then tore down the house a short time later.

Lowery claims he knew nothing of the Trousdale home that connects to a network of caves in Trousdale County. After Strunk's arrest, there are now liens on the house and three other properties owned by Strunk. He also has a home in Homosassa, Florida.

If any of it was bought or improved with drug money, it could be seized by the government. This would bring millions of dollars to Trousdale County, but Lowery says the prosecution will still have to prove Strunk is guilty of the charges.

"Again those thing have to be proven before they justify a seizure in any of those two situations. That's going to be issue in this case, yes," said Lowery.

Lowery's already working to get Strunk out of jail. He has filed a motion to get the $15 million bond reduced.

"That's an extremely high bond. I trust court will adjust that and grant him a reasonable bond," said Lowery.

The investigation is far from over, detectives say Fred Strunk may have used several alias names over the years in an effort to hide assets.

It is going to take them awhile to look into all the possibilities.

Strunk is being held in the Macon County jail. Two other defendants in the case are behind bars in Trousdale County.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Cave-Grown Marijuana Operation Busted in Tennessee [Re: veggie]
    #5112856 - 12/27/05 10:25 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

Strunk grew some skunk.
He got caught and that stunk.
He's facing time and that's bunk.


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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
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Re: Cave-Grown Marijuana Operation Busted in Tennessee [Re: veggie]
    #5120686 - 12/30/05 12:00 AM (8 years, 7 months ago)

Pictures Reveal Inside of Drug Cave
December 29, 2005 - newschannel5.com

What police found inside this Trousdale County cave led to the biggest pot bust in Middle Tennessee history. Now, pictures are showing details of the sophisticated set up.




From the outside, the house looks like a beautiful vacation home, but investigators say it was just a prop and what it concealed is right out the movies.

More than 1,000 marijuana plants were grown deep underground.

The house was built on top of the natural cave, but investigators say no one lived there. It wasn't even furnished. But inside the house there is a secret passageway into the cave.

The interior of the house is just on the other side of the door. A corridor leads from the hidden doorway into the cave. The corridor has cinderblock walls and a concrete ceiling and floor.

The 40 foot long sloping corridor leads into the cave that stretches 250 feet. There are offices, living quarters, and a growing area.

The office space comes first, then a living area furnished with three or four colorful bunk beds for camping out in the cave, and a restroom with a shower and plenty of toiletries. Behind the restroom is a kitchen with a fully stocked pantry, air conditioning and microwave. All the comforts of home, only this cave was all business.

A starter room houses 500 to 600 small marijuana plants. Each just about six to 12 inches tall.

The next area has plants nearly ready to harvest. 500 to 600 plants as tall as six feet. Each had its own irrigation system. The lights and climate control kept the air at the perfect temperature: 87 degrees.

Just behind the growing area is the work space with all the equipment to keep the operation running. And in case the growers had to make a run for it, they built an escape route. It’s 150 yards from the cave to the surface.

A hydraulic jack lifts a trap door, which is hidden with a boulder. The escape hatch lets out just a few steps away from the home where anyone driving by would have no idea what lies beneath.

Three men are charged with growing marijuana in that cave. None of them actually lives in Middle Tennessee, and investigators don't think the drugs were sold in Trousdale County. Investigators say the men were growing enough marijuana to make $6 million to $8 million a year.


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OfflineOrganic
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Registered: 04/14/02
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Re: Cave-Grown Marijuana Operation Busted in Tennessee [Re: veggie]
    #5121324 - 12/30/05 06:24 AM (8 years, 7 months ago)

Damn...that is funky as hell...props to the designer though. I wonder if they had mold issues growing in a dank cave...


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Invisiblemisterogerz

Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 1,146
Loc: Gulf Coast
Re: Cave-Grown Marijuana Operation Busted in Tennessee [Re: Organic]
    #5121439 - 12/30/05 09:11 AM (8 years, 7 months ago)

im sure they could affors good circulation


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OfflineOrganic
Lloyd

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Re: Cave-Grown Marijuana Operation Busted in Tennessee [Re: misterogerz]
    #5122040 - 12/30/05 01:15 PM (8 years, 7 months ago)

I'm "sure" they could too...but doesn't look like they cared too much about aesthetics from the pics. I expected to see some indica monsters but those plants look almost like sativa bagseed. I see an air conditioning duct and the article mentions it as well, but still...mold grows underground easily in spite of air circulation unless the natural walls are completely air and moisture sealed...if they were in it solely for the money then they probably wouldn't care if some strange cave molds formed on a few of their buds :wink:


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Offlinedebianlinux
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Re: Cave-Grown Marijuana Operation Busted in Tennessee [Re: Organic]
    #5122816 - 12/30/05 04:22 PM (8 years, 7 months ago)

I am from Lebanon and am very familiar with Jack Lowery, Strunk's attorney.
He is the biggest shot lawyer possibly in all the SE and is synonomous with mob connections and hung juries.


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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
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Re: Cave-Grown Marijuana Operation Busted in Tennessee [Re: veggie]
    #5305024 - 02/16/06 12:46 AM (8 years, 6 months ago)

Man Charged In Underground Pot Operation Faces Fla. Charges
February 15, 2006 - wftv.com

HARTSVILLE, Tenn. -- A man suspected of operating a sophisticated underground marijuana operation in Trousdale County also faces weapons and drug charges in Florida, authorities said.

Fred Earl Strunk was arrested Dec. 14 at his home in Gainesville, Fla., where authorities said they found firearms, a grenade and fake documents for at least six different identities.

He is currently being held in Macon County Jail, where he has been ordered to be held without bond until he is taken into custody on the Florida charges, Assistant District Attorney David Durham said Tuesday.

Authorities searched Strunk's Florida home on the same day a raid on his Dixon Springs home revealed a large underground complex with offices, a kitchen and growing rooms with about 850 plants at various stages of maturity.

The plants at the time had an estimated street value of $1 million, authorities said.

In addition to three counts of possession of machine guns, Strunk is charged in Florida with possession of marijuana, PCP and counterfeit drivers' licenses.

Durham said he expected a grand jury to meet by next week on the Tennessee charges, and that the Florida charges will have little impact on the case for now.

"Our investigation is what it is regardless of what's done down there," Durham said. "We already know what were going to do as far as the grand jury meeting next week."

But the Florida warrants are "marked for international notification, so obviously they're serious about seeing that he answers for it someday," Durham said.

Two Tennessee men, Brian Gibson and Greg Compton, also face charges in the marijuana operation.


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Invisibleveggie

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Re: Cave-Grown Marijuana Operation Busted in Tennessee [Re: veggie]
    #5604828 - 05/08/06 02:21 PM (8 years, 3 months ago)

Drug Cave Mastermind Pleads Guilty
May 8, 2006 - newschannel5.com



A man accused of being the ringleader for one of the biggest illegal drug operations in Middle Tennessee has pleaded guilty.

63 year old Fred Strunk pleaded guilty Monday morning to the three major counts against him.

He was sentenced to 18 years in jail, and he will have to pay a nearly $4,000 fine.

Earlier this year, authorities found a hi-tech marijuana-growing operation in a cave under Strunk's home in Trousdale County.

Brian Gibson and Greg Compton were also arrested. They are accused of growing more than 800 marijuana plants.


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OfflineSchwip
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Re: Cave-Grown Marijuana Operation Busted in Tennessee [Re: veggie]
    #5605239 - 05/08/06 04:44 PM (8 years, 3 months ago)

Damn! even with all that cash and that top ranked attorney....still 18 years. ouch


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