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Sheriff: 4 arrested for theft of industrial hemp

Posted at 9:34 AM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 18:33:07-04

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Jeremy Jones is a farmer by day and a guard by night. The industrial hemp farmer says he is tired of thieves stealing his crops. "We stay hid and just watch what's going on." Leigh Searcy asked, "When do you sleep? Jones, we don't."

On October 9, Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies arrested four people, including a juvenile on charges of theft by unlawful taking under $10,000 and possession of industrial hemp after Jones caught them on his farm. He said, "They had stopped, already let out a couple of people. They began to cut it, load the van, I let them load it then I followed them, called the police and they was able to catch them."

Deputies arrested Jonah Conn, Benjamin Wilson, Joshua Brown and a juvenile. Conn is also accused of stealing the van which belongs to his father's church.

According to officials with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Jones is not alone. They've seen a spike in industrial hemp thefts in several counties, including Hardin, Daviess and Laurel Counties.

Jeremy Jones says he has spent lots of money on video surveillance for his farm. He plans to prosecute anyone who steals from him. His cameras have caught others in the act. If you recognize any of the suspects, call the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department.

The hemp that was stolen is a crop that is regulated by the State Agriculture Department and the theft of these plants would be equivalent to stealing tobacco plants from the field once they fully matured.