CLAREMONT, N.C. – Narcotics officers in Catawba County have arrested the husband of a police dispatcher after finding 65 pounds of marijuana in their home.
Investigators said Tuesday that they arrested Blong Ly Vang after executing a search warrant at his home in the 4600 block of Belvedere Drive in Claremont.
Officials told Channel 9 that Vang’s wife worked as a dispatcher with the Hickory Police Department.
Police said Vang and his wife allowed them to search the home, but revoked consent after three pounds of marijuana was found.
Authorities said they then applied for a warrant and conducted a second search of the home.
Investigators said they first discovered several pounds of high-grade marijuana in the couple’s bedroom and master bath. They said the rest of the pots was in storage containers in other rooms of the home.
Officers said a handgun reported stolen from Georgia was also found, along with digital scales, a vacuum sealer and another weapon.
The marijuana had a collective weight of about 65 pounds and a minimum street value of $130,000, police said. Investigators said they believe it was grown in California or Colorado and then shipped to North Carolina.
“An operation this size is not someone sitting around their home with a ‘smoke bag,’” Capt. Jason Reid said. “This has a low-end street value of over $130,000. Our drug investigators continue to remain relentless on the distribution of controlled substances in our community.”
Vang has been charged with one felony count of trafficking marijuana by possession, one felony count of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, one felony count of maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances, one felony count of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and one felony count of possession of a stolen firearm.
Vang is being held at the Catawba County Detention Facility under a $250,000 secured bond.
Hickory police told Channel 9 that Vang’s wife is no longer employed with their department and that an internal investigation is underway.
Officers said they have not charged her because of her cooperation and the fact that there were children in the home. Channel 9 asked deputies if she had knowledge of the operation.
“It’s hard to tell. However, the weapon and the three pounds we located were in the master quarters, so it would be very unlikely that she did not know,” Catawba County Sheriff’s Capt. Jason Reid said.