MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Police discovered a marijuana growing operation at a Myrtle Beach motel and arrested two men on Tuesday after responding to a report of burglary and noticing a strong smell of marijuana, according to a police report.
At about 1:30 a.m., two officers responded to a motel in the 200 block of South Ocean Boulevard as a back-up unit to a reported burglary, the report states. On arrival, one officer noticed a strong smell of marijuana emanating from one of the rooms. Police knocked on the door, but no one answered.
Police then saw 36-year-old Patrick James Sprout and 34-year-old Jonathan David Monroe enter the room, the report continues. Officers again knocked on the door, and the men exited the room. Sprout told officers it was his room, and that he did not consent to a search.
When asked how much marijuana was in the room, Sprout asked the officer if he could make a phone call. The officer granted him the call. Sprout called his wife and said, "I am going to jail."
According to the report, officers obtained a search warrant and executed a search of the room at about 2:38 a.m. During the search, officers located:
- 226.3 grams (.49 pounds) of “green in color plant like material” in multiple locations around the room – some on the table, some hanging to dry on a chair, and other locations.
- 18 marijuana plants varying in size. Seven plants were in a grow tent in the bedroom, eight were in the bedroom under a sodium light on the floor, two were in another grow tent in the bedroom, and one was in the hallway.
- Five lights or lamps from the various marijuana growing set-ups.
- One grow tent
- A digital scale
- Two boxes of Ziploc bags
- One 1,000-watt ballast
- $491 in cash
During the search, officers observed that the marijuana was growing in multiple stages of development, and the operation appeared to be for long-term use. There was an area for growing, an area for harvests and drying, an area where plants were being pruned, and an area for storing old stems.
Sprout and Monroe were arrested and taken to Myrtle Beach Jail. Both men were charged with manufacturing/possession of drugs.