Crime & Courts

Marijuana odor leads to arrest of 2 in Rowan

An alert East Spencer police officer helped Rowan County authorities arrest a man and woman accused of growing marijuana at their home, officials said.

Daniel Keith Peele, 37, and Terri Jean Ball, 37, were arrested Tuesday by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, deputies said.

Investigators said the East Spencer police officer was on patrol about 5 p.m. Tuesday in the 400 block of Division Avenue when he detected the smell of marijuana coming from a residence. The officer went to the front door of the house and was greeted by Ball, authorities said.

Investigators said Ball refused permission to search the home, so police contacted the sheriff’s office and got a search warrant. Inside the home, authorities said, they found 20 marijuana plants and what they called “an elaborate marijuana growing operation” in two bedrooms and a bedroom closet.

Authorities said they found high-intensity lighting, air conditioning, a dehumidifier and a charcoal filter that deputies said was designed to mask the odor of the marijuana.

Peele and Bell were charged with trafficking marijuana; manufacturing marijuana; possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver marijuana; maintaining a dwelling to manufacture, sell or deliver marijuana; and possession of drug paraphernalia. Each suspect was jailed under $100,000 bond, deputies said.