Sea weed? Ocracoke man accused of growing marijuana at Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Sign

OCRACOKE, N.C. (WAVY) — Down by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, there’s reportedly more than seashells and gulls. 

According to a federal indictment, an Ocracoke man is accused of adding to the local greenery. 

On Wednesday, James Daniel Garrish III was arrested on charges that he grew marijuana at the seashore, which is federal property. Marijuana is a schedule 1 controlled substance under federal law.

Feds say that Garrish has also been charged with introducing plants into the park’s ecosystem, littering, trespassing and defacing and damaging real property. 

“Criminal acts which blemish the beauty of our public seashore and the safety of its visitors will not be ignored,” said Robert J. Higdon Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina in a press release. 

According to the indictment, Garrish allegedly grew the weed in a wooded area near a commercial fishing site known as Quork Hammock. 

For the cultivating marijuana charge, Garrish could face up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years supervised release. 

Each of the additional charges carries up to six months in prison, a $5,000 fine and up to one year supervised release and/or up to five years probation, according to Higdon. 

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