A Little Hocking man arrested for cultivation of marijuana and possessing weapons under a disability Friday remains at the Washington County Jail after a court appearance Monday.
William H. Keel, 50, of 1666 School House Road, Little Hocking, appeared in Marietta Municipal Court for his first arraignment, where bail was set at $37,500.
Keel's preliminary hearing will be held Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
According to Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks, a search warrant was executed at Keel's residence by Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies and Major Crimes Task Force agents.
The warrant for the search of Keel's residence was issued based on "our regular law enforcement investigative techniques," said Mincks.
Officers and agents recovered 68 marijuana plants from Keel's garden, inside his residence and in a nearby field.
The recovered marijuana weighed 308 grams, Mincks reported.
Plastic totes were used as
planters for the marijuana plants found in the garden and field. The totes allowed for mobility when moving the plants, according to Mincks. Matching, empty plastic totes were discovered inside Keel's residence.
Numerous marijuana plants that were recovered were in the drying process.
A Marlin .22 long rifle was also found in the home.
According to Mincks, Keel has a prior conviction from the early 1990s in Charleston, W.Va. for distribution of cocaine.
As a result of the prior cocaine conviction, Keel was charged with possessing weapons under a disability, a third-degree felony.
Keel was also charged with a third-degree and a fifth-degree felony count of cultivation of marijuana.
According to Mincks, the third-degree felony count was for the larger amount of marijuana found in the field near Keel's home. The smaller, fifth-degree felony count was for the smaller amount of marijuana discovered inside the residence.
"It's not the number of plants, it's how much it weighs that determines the felony level," Mincks said.
The marijuana plants and drying marijuana that were recovered during the search at Keel's residence will be saved for evidence.
"We can't destroy (them) until we get an order from the court," said Mincks. "After the trial is over, we'll get a court order to have it disposed. Then, we'll burn it in a hot furnace."
No other suspects have been implicated in the incident, although Mincks called it a "continuing investigation."