Sheriff’s Office Seizes 13 Pounds Of Marijuana

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The Athens County Sheriff’s Office picked up one of the biggest marijuana seizures of the year with a 13-pound round-up of plants from an Athens residence.

While investigating a parking complaint at 13141 River Road in Athens, Deputy Jen Atkins smelled an odor of marijuana coming from an unattached garage, according to a news release from Sheriff Patrick Kelly.

A search warrant was obtained and Det. Doug Crites and Det. Jim Heater from the Narcotics Enforcement Team were notified. Inside the garage, an indoor hydroponic marijuana grow was discovered, including the 13 pounds of marijuana, scales, and more than $6,000 in cash.

A resident of the house, Curtis W. Hinds, 46, and Kari Labello, 40, of Gallipolis, were both arrested on marijuana charges.

Hinds is charged with one count of cultivation of marijuana and one count of trafficking in marijuana, both third-degree felonies. Labello faces two counts of complicity to cultivation of marijuana and one count of trafficking in marijuana, also third-degree felonies.

Labello was on the agenda Monday night to possibly be hired within the Gallia County School District as an art teacher, according to Kelly. However, those plans may now have changed.

“There will be a board meeting tonight and something will be decided there,” said Wendy Halley, spokeswoman for the school district.

As of Monday afternoon, both Labello and Hinds were being held in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail. Hinds is listed under a $20,055 bond on the two charges, and Labello is listed under a $10,055.