BY THE COLUMBUS PACKET
A Columbus man has been charged with manufacturing marijuana after Columbus Police, Lowndes County Sheriffs and Narcotics agents discovered four marijuana plants growing behind his Mill Street home early Monday morning. Columbus Police Warrant Officer Lance Luckey was on routine warrant patrol around 8 a.m. Monday morning when he arrived at a residence at 217 Mill Street to serve 44-year old Demetrict Miller on several outstanding warrants.
According to police reports, Miller initially answered, but refused to open, the front door when Luckey knocked. As part of the standard procedure, Luckey ran the registration information on two cars parked in front of the home — a Toyota Sienna minivan and a 1982 Buick Regal sedan. The registration on the minivan came back as being involved in a missing persons case, that of an adult white female named Brianna Reynolds. Lowndes County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene, as the Reynolds case fell under their jurisdiction.
Upon arrival on scene, deputies Mark McGairty and Clint Sims began a cursory inspection of the property in search of Reynolds or evidence of her presence. During the search, the deputies discovered a potted plant in the backyard of the home that appeared to be marijuana. Deputies radioed for a Lowndes Narcotics agent to be called to the home.
Shortly after 8:45 a.m., agent David Criddle from Narcotics arrived on scene and positively identified the plants in the pot as marijuana and brought the plant to his vehicle to be processed into evidence. After offering Miller another opportunity to surrender, deputies proceeded to obtain a search warrant to examine the inside of the home and detain Miller. Criddle returned about 30 minutes later armed with the warrant, and officers pried the front door open and entered the residence.
Once officers were inside, Miller surrendered without incident, and Reynolds was briefly questioned and released. The owner of the minivan (who had also apparently filed the missing persons report) told officers via telephone that Reynolds was allowed to use the vehicle (CPD discovered the same van abandoned with the keys inside on the northside less than 24 hours later in front of a northside home. The owner was notified and came to pick up the vehicle. Reynolds was reported to be staying in a local hotel that evening-CK.)
Miller was arrested and charged with manufacturing marijuana, along with four counts of failure to appear.
As of press time, Miller was being held in the Lowdnes County Adult Detention Center on a $4,000 bond.