MATHEWS COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) - More than 250 marijuana plants and about $750,000 worth ofpackaged and loose marijuana were seized in Mathews County by theTri-Rivers Drug Task Force, Chesapeake division, state police saidWednesday.
Investigators seized the marijuana from three locations onTuesday. Two of the locations were on Bandy Ridge Road and OldGarden Creek Road; the third was in a wooded lot behind a home onMarsh Hawk Road.
At the Hawk Road sizure, investigators found more than a poundof marijuana, syringes, scales and other drug-relatedparaphernalia.
"This is the largest marijuana bust that I know of in thehistory of Mathews County," said one of the Tri-Rivers Drug TaskForce Members who asked not to be identified.
Investigators also found a loaded shotgun and a grow light, thatwas being using on about 30 marijuana seeds.
Ronald Lee Hudgens Jr., 36, was arrested and charged with twocounts of manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana withintent to distribute, possession of a schedule I or II drug, andpossession of a firearm while in the possession of a schedule I orII drug.
Officials say they set up surveillance around and near Hudgens'shome shortly after they received a tip about the marijuana around amonth ago. They showed WAVY.com surveillance video they sayshows Hudgens in the woods watering some of the marijuanaplants.
"He is watering and he probably has some type of fertilizer inthat water of Miracle Grow-type chemical...and he's watering theplants, the marijuana plants."
A small amount of marijuana, $560 in cash and a smoking devicewere found on Hudgins' vehicle as well. He is being held at theMiddle Peninsula Regional Jail in Saluda, Va., without bond.
Investigators say their investigation should send a message towould-be criminals.
"It's going to let them know we're watching them."
The Tri-Rivers Drug Task Force is made up of members from theSheriff's Offices of Gloucester, Mathews, Middlesex andYork-Poquoson, and the Police Departments of James City County andCity of Poquoson, and the Virginia State Police Bureau of CriminalInvestigation's Chesapeake Field Office.
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