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Marijuana plants ‘as tall as Christmas trees’ found in North Carolina man’s garden

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CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — Marijuana plants as large as “Christmas trees” have been seized from a North Carolina man’s garden.

The Hickory Daily Record reported that Kelly Gene Hines, 53, of Hickory, faces various charges in connection to the incident including trafficking and manufacturing marijuana.

Officers reportedly found the plants after checking out a tip about another house in the area. Officials said more than 20 marijuana plants were found growing near the home, including one that weighed 23 pounds.

“It’s bigger than a Christmas tree and heavier. I’m going to have to lay it down,” Sheriff Reid said, referring to one plant.

Officers said the suspect insisted he was not doing anything illegal. The garden with the marijuana plants was said to have been clearly visible from the road.

The suspect has been jailed under a $50,000 secured bond. He has also been charged with other felonies. Officials said a saw-off shotgun was found inside his home.