Police: Largest indoor pot grow bust in HoCo

Posted at 12:04 PM, May 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-13 23:46:10-04

An Ellicott City pair is charged with running the largest-ever indoor marijuana growing operation in Howard County, according to police.

Casey Ann Fowler, 48, and Daniel Earl Sims, 48, both of the 14300 block of Triadelphia Road were charged with multiple marijuana counts, including manufacturing, production and distribution of the drug, as well as firearms charges.

Detectives found hundreds of marijuana plants in various stages of maturation being grown and packaged in a “sophisticated” operation inside the home the pair rented.

Police said the home been recently sold at an auction, and when the new owner stopped by, he saw an unknown van parked in the driveway and contacted police.

Officers arrived and smelled a strong odor of fresh marijuana while standing in the driveway. They also saw galvanized fans near the heating and air conditioning units, where the odor was strongest.

Narcotics detectives obtained a search and seizure warrant, and while searching the basement, found a substantial growing operation. The plants were being grown using ventilation, lighting and watering systems.

On the main floor, detectives found an amber-colored paste, known as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a concentrated form of marijuana often used in a process known as "dabbing," where users inhale vapor from "dabs" of waxy or solid marijuana THC concentrate, creating an intense high from a single inhalation.

Police also found suspected crack cocaine, heroin, prescription pills and a shotgun in the residence. They seized marijuana packaged with intent to distribute, a scale and more $75,000 cash.

Fowler was home at the time of the search on May 6 and was arrested on the scene. She was later released from the Howard County Detention Center on a $50,000 bond. Sims wasn’t home at the time and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was located and charged Thursday. He is currently free after posting a $45,000 bond Friday, according to online court records.

An attorney for Fowler could no be reached Friday evening. An attorney for Sims declined to comment when reached by telephone.

Howard County police encourage anyone with information about drug activity to call the Drug Tip Line at 410-290-DRUG.

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