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Laurens County SC Magistrate Pinched In Pot Growing Operation



A magistrate in Laurens County, South Carolina was among those busted this week in connection with a marijuana growing operation in neighboring Abbeville County.

Mareno Cyrus Foggie, 38, of Laurens, S.C. was arrested and charged with one count of manufacturing marijuana.

According to a law enforcement affidavit accompanying the warrant for his arrest, Foggie “did knowingly, willfully, and unlawfully manufacture marijuana by aiding, abetting and/or conspiring with another individual.”

The investigation into Foggie began on June 22 when deputies of the Abbeville County, S.C. sheriff’s office discovered “evidence of a marijuana manufacturing operation” inside a building located at 138 Setters Lane in Donalds, S.C.

“This operation consisted of more than ten but less than one hundred marijuana plants actively growing along with equipment and components used to manufacture marijuana,” the affidavit stated.

Foggie is the owner of this property and has been paying its utility bill.  Additionally, he has been observed by witnesses visiting the premises as recently as June 17 of this year – and reportedly had a manual for a dehumidifier in his truck which “matched the dehumidifier discovered at the site of the manufacturing operation.”

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Foggie’s case was referred by Abbeville sheriff Ray Watson to the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), which handled the investigation and made the arrests.  Foggie and his alleged co-conspirator, Jonathan O’Neal Grant, were both booked at the Abbeville County detention center.  Their cases will be handled by the office of S.C. eighth circuit solicitor David Stumbo.

Here is a news release from SLED containing the warrants and affidavits in connection with this case ..

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Obviously this news site has a long history of supporting the decriminalization of marijuana and other drugs, however as a magistrate Foggie cannot have it both ways … assuming of course he is guilty of that which he has been accused.

Foggie says he is innocent …

“I am both saddened and disgusted for being charged with a crime I did not commit,” he told us.  “I am completely innocent of these charges and it is very unfortunate for me and my loved ones that law enforcement got this one wrong.  I have cooperated with the authorities throughout this entire process and I am completely confident that when all the facts are revealed my innocence will be proven without a shadow of doubt.”



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