2 charged with largest indoor marijuana grow operation found in Howard County

Two tenants renting a home in quiet community filled with farms and million-dollar homes have been charged with running the largest indoor marijuana grow operation ever discovered in Howard County.

Police arrested Casey Ann Fowler and Daniel Earl Sims, both 48 years old, after narcotics detectives conducted a search and seizure warrant at a home in the 14300 block of Triadelphia Road on May 6.

During the drug bust, police found more than 600 marijuana plants that were being grown "using sophisticated ventilation, lighting and watering systems." Police also seized marijuana that was packaged along with a scale. They believe it was intended to be distributed.

In addition, police said they found crack cocaine, heroin, prescription pills, a shotgun and over $75,000 cash inside the home. Investigators also discovered hash oil or "dabs," a powerful, concentrated form of marijuana often made using butane. Home production has resulted in fires and explosions across the country.

One neighbor said she wondered about the home because the yard was always overgrown. She spotted the law enforcement cars last week.

"About ten cars and two of them were Howard County police cars," said Shelley Harris. "I feel sorry for the neighbors that were living next door to an operation like that."

Police said they don't know how long the operation had been up and running. Investigators were only tipped off after the house went into foreclosure, went to auction and was purchased by a new owner.

A property agent for the house said the new owner was aware there were still renters in the house, which often happens in these situations. The new owner went to check out the property, noticed a strong odor of marijuana, and called police, according to Howard County police.

FOX 5 knocked on the door of the house expecting the new owner to be there. Instead, the female suspect, Fowler, answered the door. She said she had no comment about what happened and shut the door.

Police confirm Fowler posted $50,000 bond. Sims was still behind bars as of Friday night.

Fowler and Sims are charged with multiple marijuana counts, including manufacturing, production and distribution of the drug, and firearms charges.