Guns, other items forfeited in Casey marijuana case


LIBERTY - The Casey County school system will benefit from property seized by police in a marijuana case.

Guns owned by a Gravel Switch couple who pleaded guilty to marijuana cultivation will be sold at auction, but items used in the growing operation will be given to the school system, according to court records.

Gregory J. Southerland, 45, and his wife, Melissa Southerland, of 545 Penns Store Road, were charged last year after more than 300 marijuana plants were discovered on their property by the Casey County Sheriff's Department.

Gregory Southerland was sentenced earlier this week to two years in prison for cultivating more than five plants of marijuana. Probation was denied. Melissa Southerland was given a 12-month jail sentence that was probated for two years.


Circuit Judge James G. Weddle signed an order Monday that stated weapons and other property belonging to the couple be forfeited to the sheriff's department and Kentucky State Police and sold at public auction.

They include two black-powder rifles, one handgun and holster, one .22-caliber rifle, one single-shot firearm, one 12-gauge shotgun, and two 20-gauge pump shotguns. Proceeds of the black-powder rifles will go to state police, and proceeds from the other weapons will go to the sheriff's department.

One 20-gauge shotgun will be returned to owner Jeremy Southerland.

Of the $770 confiscated, $693 will be paid to the local sheriff's department to be used for law enforcement purposes, and $77 will be paid to the Prosecutors Advisory Council in Frankfort.

Other items seized will be given to the Casey County Board of Education. They include a garden catalogue, plant food, fertilizer, sprayers, grow light power supply and hood, thermometer, two fans, extension cord, scales, aluminum heat bulb shields, timer, peat starter pots, and eight 5-gallon buckets.

The 382 marijuana plants that were confiscated were to be destroyed by the sheriff's department.

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