Northern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Parks White said Monday charges by the Elberton Police Department against an Elberton couple of felony possession and manufacture of marijuana where police found more than five pounds of live plants and “finished, bagged marijuana” have been dropped.
White said the police department’s investigation involved a “warrant-less” search at the couple’s residence that led to the charges which would, in court, lead to evidence “suppression issues.”
Charles Alexander Riley, 67, and Terri Poole Riley, 53, of 5 Brookhaven Circle were arrested Sept. 5, 2018 after an Elberton Police Department patrol officer saw an open door and a light on in a small building on the couple’s property.
At 4:15 a.m., Elberton Police Officer Virginia Shelton, after seeing the light and the open door, went to see if there had been a burglary at the location.
“We had about 100 theft cases within a mile of that location,” said Elberton Police Chief Mark Welsh Monday. “What our officer did is about 90 percent of what patrol officers do. She thought there was crime in progress and she was going to the door to see if that was the case.”
Instead, Shelton found “two small plants under fluorescent lighting, marijuana buds hanging to dry and several pieces of buds in the separation phase sitting on a metal wire screen to sift the marijuana buds from the leaves,” according to the police report on the incident.