Unresponsive patient leads to pot bust

Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:49:07 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 25 2013 06:05:26 PM EST

VIDEO: A Baker Co. man is behind bars after investigators found 179 marijuana plants inside his home.


A man taken to a hospital unresponsive Thursday night led Baker County investigators to an indoor marijuana grow house at a home in Macclenny.

Deputies said the man was taken to Ed Fraser Memorial Hospital just after 7 p.m.

IMAGES: 179 pot plants found in home

Investigators said they then went to the home of 49-year-old Tony Barber, who took the victim to the hospital, to find out what happened. When deputies went to check Barber's home on Morris Avenue, they smelled pot and heard fans running.

"Our deputies were obviously able to smell the smell of unburned marijuana," said Major Gerald Gonzales. "They could hear the fan noises, and upon inspection of the house with the owners' permission, they obviously found several rooms within the home that contained hydroponic marihuana grown."

Deputies said they found 179 pot plants inside the home. They said the plants had a street value of $179,000, the largest Baker County pot bust in recent memory.

Deputies said the entire second floor of the home was an indoor marijuana growing operation, complete with florescent lights and a watering system.

Deputies said the marijuana was less than 500 feet from First United Methodist Church, which also runs a preschool.

Barber (pictured, above) was arrested and charged with growing marijuana within 1,000 feet of a church and marijuana possession. Both are felony charges.

Neighbors are glad the drugs are gone before they made it onto local streets.

"With the crime like it is, people killing people over nothing, that kind of money and drugs, oh yeah, crime would skyrocket," one neighbor said.

The patient does not face charges. He was unresponsive and flown to St. Vincent's Medical Center on Thursday evening. Deputies said he was still there Friday on a ventilator.

It's unclear how he was hurt.


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