Washington County Man Pleads Guilty to Large Marijuana Grow
AUG 01 -- (LOUISVILLE, KY) - Charles Roger Newton, age 52, Springfield, Kentucky, entered a plea of guilty to charges stemming from an April 18, 2007, indictment, U.S. Attorney David Huber of the Western District of Kentucky announced today.
Charles Newton pled guilty to one count of knowingly manufacturing marijuana plants. Newton also pled guilty to possessing with the intent to distribute marijuana and possession of methamphetamine. Newton agreed to forfeit $30,000 as substitute assets for the real estate where the marijuana plants were being grown.
The facts elicited during the plea hearing revealed that on January 31, 2007, the Greater Hardin County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at the residence of Charles Roger Newton located in rural Washington County. Upon searching Newton’s residence they discovered 330 marijuana plants. Additionally, the agents found a couple pounds of marijuana and 3.5 grams of methamphetamine hidden in a cooler in the wooded area near the residence. Both Newton and co-defendant, Robert A. Ballard, were present at the residence during the execution of the search warrant. The street value of the marijuana plants that were being cultivated had a value in excess of $600,000. Upon being arrested, Newton provided a statement indicating that he was growing the marijuana.
The maximum potential penalties are 46 years imprisonment, a $2,000,000 fine, and supervised release for a period of life
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel P. Kinnicutt, and it was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in cooperation with the Hardin County Drug Task Force. Newton is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Charles R. Simpson, III, on October 8, 2008, at 3:30 p.m., in Louisville, Kentucky.