GREENFIELD — Neighbors who called 911 to report a strange smell near their homes unknowingly tipped off police to a marijuana-growing operation in McCordsville, reports state.
Three Indianapolis residents appeared in court Wednesday after police officers reported finding dozens of marijuana plants and other equipment used to grow pot inside two homes the suspects rented in the Villages of Brookside subdivision.
Derek Moore, his wife, Danielle Moore, and Lindsay Hillman each face charges of drugs possession and maintaining a common nuisance; Derek Moore faces additional charges of dealing marijuana, court records show.
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On Wednesday, the suspects appeared in Hancock County Superior Court 1 and pleaded not guilty to the charges. All three have been released from jail on bond.
Police officers searched a home in the 8600 block of North Mia Lane and another in the 6000 block of West Jamison Drive where the Moores and Hillman were known to live in July.
Between the two properties, they found more than 30 marijuana plants and an array of paraphernalia used to grow the drug, including heat lamps, tanks for carbon dioxide, dehumidifiers, jugs of chemicals and plastic bags used for packaging, court documents state.
Neighbors had recently called police to complain about the smell of marijuana coming from the home on North Mia Lane, records show.
Officers found the Moores and Hillman inside the home on North Mia Lane; each was taken to the McCordsville Police Department for questioning while officers searched the property.
Police noted in their reports there was little furniture inside the home, which appeared to used mainly for drug manufacturing.
A large tent used to harvest marijuana was set up inside what was meant to be a master bedroom, court documents state.
An upstairs loft area was filled with packaging materials, and several burnt marijuana cigarettes were found around the rest of the home, court documents state.
Derek Moore told police he rented the home on North Mia Lane with Hillman, but neither woman lived there with him. He told police he’d been growing marijuana for about four months as a way to make ends meet while he was separated from his wife and helping to pay bills for two households, court documents state.
Danielle Moore told police she knew her husband grew marijuana but denied being involved with the operation, police reports state. Hillman declined to speak with officers during the investigation, court documents state.
Officers then searched the second home, located on West Jamison Drive, where neighbors told them Derek Moore also lived.
There, they found another tent filled with growing equipment, as well as 13 large marijuana plants and more than 20 seedling plants, court document state.
In all, police say they found more than 10 pounds of raw marijuana inside the two homes. All the growing equipment was confiscated.
Derek Moore faces a Level 5 felony count of dealing marijuana; two Level 6 felony counts of maintaining a common nuisance; and two misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana.
Danielle Moore and Hillman each faces a Level 6 felony count of maintaining a common nuisance and a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.