Although he was not there when federal, state, and local authorities found an active indoor marijuana growing operation Wednesday, the owner of the property on Poss Road in DeKalb County is among eleven people who were later arrested as a result of a two year multi-county investigation into organized drug trafficking in Tennessee.
51 year old Alexis Ravelo was taken into custody at 602 Larkin Springs Road, Nashville and charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana. He has owned the property at 1117 Poss Road since 2014.
An investigation by Special Agents with the Drug Investigation Division of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the DEA, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and multiple Middle Tennessee law enforcement agencies resulted in the seizure of hundreds of plants and more than $100,000 in cash along with the arrest of these eleven individuals.
The probe focused on an organized drug trafficking operation involving the cultivation and distribution of high-grade marijuana in Middle Tennessee. The investigation culminated in the execution of more than a dozen search warrants executed simultaneously Wednesday morning. Six searches were conducted in Davidson County, and others were executed in Lewis, Sumner, Macon, Cannon, Bedford, Putnam, DeKalb and White Counties.
Among the agencies involved in the drug investigation and search warrant executions were Metro Nashville Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Drug Task Forces with the 15th, 16th, 17th, 21st and 22nd Judicial Districts, the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, Cannon County Sheriff’s Department, and the Governor’s Task Force on Marijuana Eradication.
Active indoor grow operations were found in Lewis, Macon, DeKalb and White Counties. A total of 320 plants were recovered and seized Wednesday; 224 plants were found in Lewis County, 52 in Macon County, and 44 in DeKalb County. The street value of the high-grade marijuana seized today is more than $560,000. More than 15 pounds of finished product, valued in excess of $37,500, and multiple weapons were found in one of the Davidson County locations. Three guns were found in the Bedford County location, and a total of more than $140,000 in cash was seized from multiple sites. Additionally, 40 plants were recovered in the White County location, along with ten pounds of finished product valued at $25,000, more than $11,500 in cash, and a gun.
“The sophistication and danger of indoor grow operations like this demonstrate the complexity of what’s involved in these organizations,” says TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “It takes the collaboration and persistence of law enforcement agencies, and we want those involved in the production and distribution to know they’re not going to get away with it.”
“This is exactly why it’s difficult for law enforcement officers to wrap their minds around legalization efforts,” says Drug Investigation Division Assistant Director T.J. Jordan. “This is a sophisticated organization with the goal of operating covertly, producing and trafficking high-grade marijuana, and making money at the expense of Tennessee citizens.”
On Wednesday, all eleven individuals, including Ravelo were arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana and booked into the Davidson County Jail.
According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, 44 buckets of marijuana were found at Ravelo’s property on Poss Road with plants up to 7 ½ feet tall and up to 3 ½ feet wide capable of producing as much as five pounds of pot per plant at an estimated street value of $2,500 per pound. “What we got today had an estimated value of $220,000,” Sheriff Ray told WJLE.
“This grow operation was located in a metal barn located behind a house on Poss Road. The growers had a watering, grow light, chemicals, and fertilizing system installed in the barn and they were stealing electricity from Caney Fork Electric Cooperative to power the operation,” he said.