Two charged for marijuana growing operation

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(PHOTO: Howard County Police Department)

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The Howard County Police Department has charged two people renting a home in the 14300 block of Tridelphia Road with running the largest indoor marijuana-grow operation ever discovered in Howard County.

Casey Ann Fowler, 48, and Daniel Earl Sims, 48, were charged with multiple marijuana counts, including manufacturing, production and distribution of the drug, after detectives found large quantities of marijuana being grown and packaged inside the home. The two also face firearms charges.

When the new owner of the house the pair was renting stopped by , he saw an unfamiliar van in the driveway and contacted the police. The officers arrived and smelled the odor of fresh marijuana while standing in the driveway.

The Howard County officers then contacted narcotics detectives, who obtained a search and seizure warrant for the residence. In the basement, detectives found a sophisticated and substantial growing operation, with more than 600 marijuana plants in various stages of maturation. While the street value is still being calculated, narcotics detectives estimate that a growth cycle of this size could yield as much as $270,000.

In a search of the main floor, detectives located an amber-colored paste, known as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a concentrated form of marijuana often used in a process known as “dabbing.” Police also found suspected crack cocaine, heroin, prescription pills, and a shotgun in the residence. They seized the marijuana packaged in a way that suggested distribution, a scale and over $75,000 cash.

Fowler was at the residence at the time of the search warrant May 6 and was arrested on-scene. She was later released from the Howard County Detention Center on $50,000 bond. Sims was not at the residence at the time, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was located and charged late yesterday and is currently in the detention center on $45,000 bond.

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