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News Otto man arrested for marijuana operation

Scott Cole IVDeputies with the Macon County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) arrested Scott Cole IV on Thursday, Aug. 16. Cole was charged with felony counts of manufacturing marijuana, marijuana possession and maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance. Cole, who is expected to appear in court on Aug. 30, was also charged with a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to an application for a search warrant from MCSO Detective Chris Murray, after Cole became the owner of his residence, the power records indicated a dramatic increase in power consumption. The search warrant shows that the power consumption ranged from being 2045 kilowatt hours at a cost of $188.83 for the period of Nov. 22, 2011, to Dec. 22, 2011, and steadily increased until reaching a high of 4144 killowatt hours at $404.16 for June 21, 2012 to July 2012.

As stated in the search warrant application, “The power record information listed above show an increase of four to six times the amount of power consumption for this residence since Scott Cole IV became the owner of this residence ... power consumption increases for indoor Marijuana grows because of the use of grow lights and the ballasts which supply power to the grow light.”

Based on the power consumption records, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Aviation and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation conducted an aerial surveillance of Cole's residence on July 26 and found no marijuana growing outdoors.

The Macon County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) received an anonymous call reporting that a white, male subject named Scott, was growing and selling marijuana and other drugs. According to the caller, while at the residence on July 27, Cole attempted to sell the caller marijuana and advised the EOC that Cole owned several guns.

The search warrant application also showed that Cole had a lengthy criminal history which dated back to a February 1997 arrest in St. Johns County, Fla., for use or possession or drug paraphernalia. Among other charges listed were battery, resisting an officer, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, dealing in stolen property, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of cocaine.

After being granted the search warrant, officers searched the property on Aug. 16 and found what was suspected to be marijuana, which was sent off for testing, assorted drug paraphernalia, including a glass smoking device, scales, syringe, and rolling papers, video surveillance camera and other items.

Cole was arrested without incident and was booked into the Macon County Detention Center on a $10,000 bond.

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