The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Luther Russell Collins
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer
A Glade Hill man will serve 12 months of a five-year prison sentence for growing marijuana at his residence on Glade Farms Drive.
Luther Russell Collins, 46, was arrested after police raided the growing operation in January and he pleaded guilty to manufacturing marijuana in October.
Through a plea agreement, one charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute was dismissed by Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney Tim Allen.
Collins was also sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. He was ordered to be of good behavior for eight years.
During the sentencing hearing Monday, defense attorney Will Davis asked Judge W.N. Alexander II to consider that several states have legalized marijuana.
However, Allen told the judge he was concerned that the public would get the wrong message if Collins did not serve any prison time.
"This was not your average user growing for his own consumption," Allen said. "This was a pretty big grow operation."
Five pounds of packaged marijuana was found during the raid, Allen said. "With that quantity, there is no doubt it was going to be sold for profit."
"Whether we agree with the law makes no difference," Alexander said before announcing the sentence. "The law in Virginia takes the manufacture of marijuana seriously."
After receiving a tip from Collins' wife in January, investigators executed a search warrant at Collins' residence, Allen said during a summary of the evidence in October.
Deputies seized an estimated $500,000 worth of plants and plant material, according to Lt. Todd Maxey with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.
Five pounds of packaged buds, 160 plants and grow equipment were discovered in three outbuildings near Collins' residence, Allen said.
The estimated street value of the buds was nearly $30,000, Maxey said. The potential value of the plants was about $480,000.