Police stumble on pot growing operation during chase - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Police stumble on pot growing operation during chase

Remains of some of the marijuana plants found. Remains of some of the marijuana plants found.
Damon Schnellenberger (Source: Harrison County Sheriff's Department) Damon Schnellenberger (Source: Harrison County Sheriff's Department)
William Berkley (Source: Harrison County Sheriff's Department) William Berkley (Source: Harrison County Sheriff's Department)
Jane and Chuck Norris Jane and Chuck Norris
Captain Brad Shepherd Captain Brad Shepherd

LANESVILLE, IN (WAVE) - A man running from police led them right into more than 200 pot plants.

Officers from Lanesville police, the Harrison County Sheriff's and other agencies followed their K9s who tracked the scent of Damon Schnellenberger right into the grow operation behind the house at 3341 Crandall-Lanesville Road.

They started searching around 8 a.m. Thursday after getting a call that Schnellenberger and William Shawn Berkely were standing in the middle of the road nearby the home. When the officer approached the men, they took off. The officer caught and arrested Berkeley immediately. The K9s tracked Schnellenberger's scent behind Berkley's home where they uncovered the plants, but not Schnellenberger.

Police say they got a search warrant to look inside Berkley's home for Schnellengberger. They did not find him, but located remnants of a meth lab, and a white substance appearing to be meth or cocaine.

"That's shocking. I didn't know he had that much. That's getting into the business," said neighbors June and Chuck Norris. The couple said they knew Berkeley's parents who passed away, but had no idea what police say was going on behind and inside his home.

They said Berkeley had been laid off and they knew he'd gotten in trouble at least once before, which police confirm. "We've had complaints of drug activity at this particular residence," said Captain Brad Shepherd of the Harrison County Sheriff's Department.

Captain Shepherd couldn't say the street value of the plants, but says even at a young growing stage, the bust was unusual for the area.

"A person who normally grows for personal use 10, 20 plants at the most," Shepherd said. "When you get over 200 marijuana plants in one area that becomes an issue where it's not just for personal use it's for monetary gain."

 Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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