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Foiled robbery plan ends in discovery of marijuana growing operation

NATCHEZ — A foiled plan to rob a Natchez man ended with the intended victim being arrested Thursday night on charges he ran a sophisticated marijuana growing operation from his home.

The thread that led to the arrest of Jake Ryan Rayborn, 26, 639 U.S. 61 South, began in Concordia Parish, when agents with the Concordia Narcotics Task Force initiated a traffic stop of Richard Kemp, 33, 126 Doyle Road, CNTF agent John Cowan said.

A marijuana growing system was discovered at an Adams County residence Thursday night. The system included ballasts, grow lights, fertilizer, potting soil, stakes, air filtration systems and other paraphernalia. (Submitted photo)

A marijuana growing system was discovered at an Adams County residence Thursday night. The system included ballasts, grow lights, fertilizer, potting soil, stakes, air filtration systems and other paraphernalia. (Submitted photo)

During the stop, the narcotics agents discovered Kemp was allegedly on his way to retrieve a gun in order to commit an armed robbery at Rayborn’s residence, Cowan said.

After the parish authorities notified the Adams County Sheriff’s Office of the conspiracy, deputies and Metro Narcotics agents were dispatched to Rayborn’s residence, Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said.

The sheriff’s office had gotten word of a previous attempted burglary at the house, but the victim was uncooperative with law enforcement at that time, he said.

After getting consent from Rayborn to enter the U.S. 61 residence, agents found three different marijuana-growing areas on the property, two in the house and one in a barn, Mayfield said.

The growing setups included ballasts, grow lights, fertilizer, potting soil, stakes, air filtration systems and other paraphernalia associated with growing marijuana, Mayfield said.

“This was the most sophisticated I have ever seen in Adams County,” he said.

The various growing paraphernalia was broken down and transported to the ACSO, and Rayborn was charged with cultivating marijuana.  He was detained on a $5,000 bond Friday.

Kemp was charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary. He was detained without bond Friday.

Mayfield said the investigation of the matter is ongoing and more arrests are expected to follow.

“I have to say it is great to be able to work hand-in-glove with the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Department,” Mayfield said.

“I appreciate Sheriff (Kenneth) Hedrick and his staff for how professional they are.”