Marijuana ‘gardener’ arrested

Published 11:43 pm Friday, September 19, 2008

A self-proclaimed gardener from Troy found himself on the wrong side of the law Thursday after Covington County Sheriff’s Office deputies found “homegrown” marijuana in his vehicle.

Daniel Clay Sanders, 30, was a passenger in a vehicle stopped on a traffic violation on U.S. Hwy. 331.

“The vehicle’s occupants were acting suspicious and the driver was identified as an Alabama parolee out on parole for a narcotics violation,” a CCSO spokesman said. “The deputies located a small amount of marijuana in plain view in the passenger seat of the pickup truck.”

As a result, Sanders was placed under arrest for possession of marijuana.

“A subsequent search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a large bag of marijuana that appears to be homegrown,” the spokesman said. “Inside Sander’s personal affects, a chemical called malathion was discovered, which is an insecticide used in common gardening and marijuana growers typically use it to keep insects from destroying their crop.

“Sanders admitted the marijuana was his and he was helping someone else tend the plants but obviously wouldn’t disclose the location,” the spokesman said.

Deputies also located “snake chaps,” which are protective gear worn by farmers to prevent snakebites, as well as a flashlight, camouflage backpack and pruning shears.

“All of those items are indicative of marijuana cultivating and harvesting,” the spokesman said.

Sanders was booked into the Covington County Jail and held on a $10,500 bond.

The night’s activities were made possible through the department’s participation in a traffic enforcement grant provided by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), administered through the Southeast Alabama Regional Traffic and Safety Division.

It is the second such grant the department has received within this month.

During the Labor Day holiday, more than 130 citations were issued and five people arrested during the first traffic grant initiative.

The department was selected to receive a second round of funding after a portion of the statewide grant funds were not utilized by other departments.

“Chief Deputy David Anderson was able to secure these funds for the department due to the quality of work and productivity of the department,” the spokesman said.