One man has been charged and his son is being sought in connection with the Tuesday discovery of more than 800 marijuana plants growing in the basement of a North Hall home.
Lonnie Paul Chastain Sr., 63, was arrested shortly before midnight Tuesday in a traffic stop made by White County sheriff’s officials just past the Hall County line on U.S. 129 based on a lookout posted for him, Hall County Sheriff’s Maj. Jeff Strickland said.
About seven hours earlier, Hall County detectives investigating an unrelated case smelled a strong odor of marijuana while standing outside Chastain’s home at 4126 Belvedere Drive and obtained a search warrant. After entering the unoccupied three-bedroom house, they found 858 pot plants and four additional pounds of marijuana, with an estimated value of $3.3 million.
Chastain is the owner of the home, Strickland said. Chastain’s son, 39-year-old Lonnie Paul Chastain, is still being sought in connection with the case.
Investigators secured arrest warrants for father and son on charges of trafficking in marijuana and manufacturing marijuana.
In addition to the plants, sheriff’s officials seized three vehicles and two motorcycles from the home.