‘Marijuana Farm’ Suspect Granted Release On Bond

Bridgewater Man Indicted On Drug, Gun Charges

Posted: March 13, 2013

HARRISONBURG — A man accused by prosecutors of running a “sophisticated” pot-growing operation at his Bridgewater home was granted bond Tuesday.

Thomas Harrison Tyler, 61, had been held at Rockingham County Jail since Feb. 21, two days after grand jurors indicted him on marijuana and gun charges.

Tyler, who has a history of run-ins with the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, was initially arrested Nov. 28 on misdemeanor assault and felony abduction charges, but those were dismissed in Rockingham County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Police say the abduction investigation, involving his live-in girlfriend, led investigators to more than 100 marijuana plants growing in his home on Sandstone Lane.

Judge James Lane granted him a $5,000 secured bond during a hearing Tuesday morning in Rockingham County Circuit Court.

A Bridgewater police officer searched Tyler’s home Nov. 28 as part of  the investigation into the reported abduction. An investigator with the RUSH Drug Task Force assisted with the search based on a tip that the case could have a drug connection.

Police say they found 110 marijuana plants, 3 pounds of processed marijuana, cultivation equipment and other paraphernalia, and a shotgun.

Chris Bean, assistant commonwealth’s attorney, argued that Tyler should continue to be held without bond because otherwise he would return to his home, where the alleged crimes occurred, which involved a firearm.

“That is a concern for the commonwealth,” he said.

Defense attorney Frank Coyner countered by saying that obviously Tyler would return to his home, because it’s where he lives.

And the shotgun did not belong to Tyler, Coyner said.

Lane said he did not consider Tyler a flight risk or threat to the community.

Contact Jeremy Hunt at 574-6273 or jhunt@dnronline.com

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