By Bruce Collier
Confidential tips yielded a bumper crop of illegal marijuana growing in a DeFuniak Springs residence. On April 6, narcotics investigators of the DeFuniak Springs Police Department (DFSPD) performed a knock-and-talk at 41 South 23rd Street in DeFuniak Springs after receiving several tips from different confidential sources that there was an indoor marijuana growing operation at that location. Upon arrival, investigators made contact with one of the residents, identified as Ronald J. Miller. When Miller opened the door to talk with the officers, the smell of green marijuana was reportedly overpowering.
Investigators then explained to Miller that they were there based upon the report of an indoor growing operation and that they could smell the odor of green marijuana from the porch. Miller then invited the officers in and took them to several rooms throughout the house and showed them his operation.
Miller reportedly stated that he had been growing the marijuana for more than two years for his own personal use. Officers found more than 470 grams (1 ¾ pounds) of dried marijuana in several open containers lying in plain view of the officers as they accompanied Miller through the residence. Investigators also found several drying racks and two temperature- and light-controlled growing chambers. One of the growing chambers had 13 small plants approximately 12-to-14 inches in height and the other chamber had three mature plants in the process of budding.
Ronald J. Miller, 49, was arrested on one count of possession of cannabis (more than 20 grams), one count of possession with intent to distribute (due to the large amount of finished and dried product on hand), one count of cultivation of cannabis, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Also arrested was Kathy L. Miller, 50, who resides at the same address. Kathy Miller was also charged with the same four charges as Ronald. Both individuals were then transported to the Walton County Jail.