High-grade marijuana grower nabbed in Wayne County

WOOSTER -- A Wooster man was arrested Friday after search warrants were executed on two mobile home units where indoor marijuana operations were located.

Stephen M. Hobden, 32, of 2227 Blachleyville Road, Lot 2, was charged with cultivation of marijuana and trafficking in drugs after the Medway-led investigation.

Medway agent Donald Hall said a search warrant was executed at the Lot 2 home at about 10:30 p.m. with assistance from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office and Wooster Police K-9 units.

Hobden was located inside the residence, along with packaged marijuana ready for sale, which Hall described as high potency and quality. It had an estimated street value of $5,500.

The drugs, along with a shotgun and cash, were seized.

During the search, officers obtained a search warrant for Lot 4 of the same mobile home park. Hobden is believed to have lived in the home at some point.

At Lot 4, Medway discovered two rooms set up for an indoor cultivation system used to grow marijuana.

A total of 46 plants were seized in addition to equipment at the residence used to grow the drug, including lights, a ballast, fans, filters, pots and chemicals and fertilizer meant to grow the drugs.

The estimated street value of the drugs located in Lot 4 is $90,000.

Hall said it was an ongoing investigation that started about two weeks ago.

"(Hobden) has been selling in this area by himself ... he's been in trouble before," he noted.

Online court records indicate Hobden was arraigned and posted bail Tuesday. The case is expected to go before the grand jury where additional charges may be brought. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday.

"This is the first big marijuana bust this year," Hall said. "It was very high-grade marijuana ... he was set up with the ability to control the operation ... sometimes seen out in a cornfield."

Reporter Steve Huszai can be reached at 330-287-1645 or shuszai@the-daily-record.com. He is @GeneralSmithie on Twitter.

By STEVEN F. HUSZAI Staff WriterPublished:January 23, 2013 4:00AM

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