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Gaston police: Barbecue restaurant was center of drug operation

Police in Gaston County say they have broken up a drug operation that was centered at a barbecue restaurant in the northern part of the county.

The alleged operation was across from a day care center, police said.

The investigation into activities around Smokey’s BBQ Restaurant, in the 1000 block of Lower Dallas Highway, began in November, according to Gaston County Police. An undercover agent bought more than 30 pounds of marijuana in the area, detectives said. Those drugs had a street value of more than $137,000, police said.

Three people were arrested Tuesday, including the restaurant’s owner, 39-year-old Donnie Allen Wooten of Dallas.

Police said Wooten was charged with selling marijuana; delivering marijuana; manufacturing marijuana; three counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana; five counts of maintaining a dwelling for drug use; two counts of manufacture, sale or delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school; four counts of conspiring to sell marijuana; four counts of conspiring to deliver marijuana; five counts of trafficking in marijuana; and conspiracy to traffic marijuana.

Investigators said Michael Gene Huffman, 35, of Dallas, was charged with seven counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana; seven counts of manufacturing marijuana; six counts of selling marijuana; six counts of delivering marijuana; nine counts of maintaining a dwelling for drug use; four counts of manufacture, sale or delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school; four counts of conspiring to sell marijuana; four counts of conspiring to deliver marijuana; five counts of trafficking in marijuana; and conspiracy to traffic marijuana.

Police said Tausha Michelle Mixon, 29, of Dallas, was charged with two counts of maintaining a dwelling for drug use; two counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver; manufacturing marijuana; conspiracy to sell marijuana; and conspiracy to deliver marijuana.

Police said they are looking for a fourth suspect, 25-year-old Jessica Dannette Plummer of Dallas. Investigators said Plummer has outstanding warrants for possession with intent to sell and deliver a controlled substance; manufacturing marijuana; and maintaining a dwelling for drug use.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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