Claremore Grandfather Caught With Pot Growing Operation
A Rogers County grandfather faces several charges after an indoor marijuana growing operation is found at his home. What's worse is that the grow room was right next to his 4-year-old grandson's bedroom.
It was discovered in a neighborhood not far from downtown Claremore.
A tip to the Rogers County Sheriff's Office criminal interdiction team led them to get a search warrant for a house on West Cedar Street in Claremore.
They found a marijuana growing operation inside.
"All indications that this was this man's livelihood," said Sheriff Scott Walton.
Charles Striplin, 64, faces a number of charges.
The pot plants were being growing in a large closet, in containers - complete with grow lights set to timers. Investigators say Striplin also kept very detailed records of the operation, even numbering seeds, documenting growth of plants, and tracking expenses.
"As any tracking or documentation of crop genetics would apply, this guy had done it," Walton said.
While there was attention to detail, investigators don't think there was much regard for potential harmful effects to Striplin's 4-year-old grandson, who stays in a bedroom that adjoins the grow room.
Investigators say the grow room actually vents into the child's bedroom. They say that though he doesn't live in the house, he does stay there during the day.
"It's alarming that individual would engage in a trade like this with a four year old or any child in the house," said Sheriff Scott Walton, Rogers County. "That's the most upsetting thing about the case."
So Striplin is charged with child endangerment as well as cultivating marijuana. He also faces gun charges; eight were found in the home.
The marijuana is worth about $10,000, which is smaller than some busts, but Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton says cracking down on any drug operation is important.
"I don't think you want to meet somebody driving down the road, that's stoned out of their mind, that's been puffing on this stuff that's been grown in somebody's residence," Walton said.
Sheriff Walton says drug trends come and go, but marijuana remains a staple for drug dealers. He says it is a gateway drug and a problem that never goes away.