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Johnson County man caught growing 151 marijuana plants

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — For the second time in five years, a Johnson County man has been caught growing mass amounts of marijuana in his home.

A recent raid uncovered an even bigger operation.

Jerry E. Ashbrook, 66, was arrested Tuesday after investigators found 151 marijuana plants growing inside his home at 5056 W. Division in Morgantown, which is near Bargersville, Indiana. 

According to court documents, before deputies even set foot inside the home, they could smell the odor of marijuana.

Court documents reveal Ashbrook showed detective his marijuana gummies he makes and also showed officers how he prepares Jell-O mold marijuana edibles.

Officials with the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office say the sophisticated operation was spread out over two rooms inside the home, two tents in the basement and a greenhouse in the backyard.

Ashbook told investigators the marijuana was intended “for me and my friends.”

Prosecutors say they had been keeping an eye on Ashbrook after he was caught growing 50 marijuana plants in the same house back in 2013.

After this much time on the job. nothing really shocks me anymore. we had reports that he was up to no good again,” explained Johnson County Deputy Prosecutor Drew Foster. “You’re seeing a trend towards legalizing marijuana because of the benefits of taxing it. You get the tax money and put it into other things. You have to remember, there are social costs. If you’re breaking the law down here, just because other people don’t think it’s important, we will go after you. We will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”  

People living nearby say they aren’t surprised to hear about Ashbrook’s growing operation, but describe him as a model neighbor.

“I mean, I’m not shocked,” said Robert Sharp, who has lived next door for 11 years. “I’m not offended as well either. We just went about out business. We talked when we needed to. He’s been a good neighbor, any time I’ve needed him. I can’t say anything bad about him.” 

Ashbrook is charged with possession of marijuana and maintaining a common nuisance — both level six felonies.

Officials with the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office say with Ashbrook’s prior marijuana related growing convictions, he could face anywhere between one and six years behind bars.