East Spencer pair charged with marijuana trafficking, growing

Published 11:11 am Thursday, November 20, 2014

EAST SPENCER — Two people were charged Tuesday with trafficking marijuana after police busted a sophisticated marijuana growing operation at a home in East Spencer.

While on routine patrol, two East Spencer police officers, J.W. Wolfe and B. Major,  noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from a home at 428 Division Ave.

Police Chief Baxter Michael said the officers could smell the marijuana coming through the vent in the patrol car. The officers followed the smell to the house, Michael said.

The officers went to the residence around 5 p.m. where they spoke with a Terri Jean Ball. When Ball opened the door, an officer could smell marijuana coming from the house and asked for consent to search it. Ball refused, a statement said.

The officer conducted a security sweep of the property and located Daniel Keith Peele in the backyard.

The East Spencer Police contacted the Special Investigations Unit with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office to assist in the investigation. Detectives with the sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant and helped process the scene.

Once officials got into the house they discovered an elaborate growing operation that was located in two bedrooms and a bedroom closet. The growing operation was partially contained in two grow chambers that included high intensity lighting, air conditioning, dehumidifier and a charcoal filter to mask the odor of marijuana.

The chambers are made of a cloth-like material and vinyl,  similar to portable greenhouses.

Officials seized about 20 marijuana plants that weighed 11.5 pounds as well as equipment used in the growing operation.

Authorities charged Terri Ball and Daniel Peele, both 37, with felony trafficking marijuana, felony manufacturing marijuana, felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver marijuana; felony maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Daniel Keith Peele

Daniel Keith Peele

Ball and Peele each have a $100,000 secured bond. In 2000, Peele, also known by the nickname, Cue Ball,  was convicted in Gaston County for felony possession of marijuana. He was also convicted in both 2006 and 2012 of misdemeanor assault on a female. Peele has also been convicted of driving while license revoked and driving while impaired.

Terri Jean Ball

Terri Jean Ball

Both remain in the Rowan County Detention Center.

“Our goal is to use all resources, all surrounding agencies to eliminate drugs to the best of our ability,” Michael said.

Michael said he was appreciative of the observant East Spencer officers and grateful to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office offers rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people growing marijuana. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8700.