CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Kanawha County man has pled guilty to a federal drug crime, according to United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Stephen Hayden, 51, pled guilty to cultivation of marijuana.
“This man seems to have had quite a green thumb and a big basement. He should have cultivated something legal like tomatoes or corn,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Tomatoes and corn are far easier and you can grow them outside and actually sell them. They are good for you too. Marijuana is and remains illegal under federal law. In my district, we prosecute cases involving all illegal drugs including marijuana.”
Hayden admitted that on April 9, 2018, law enforcement smelled the odor of marijuana coming from his residence. Based on the odor, the West Virginia State Police obtained a search warrant. In Hayden’s basement, officers discovered a room that contained fertilizer, grow lights, fans and other cultivation equipment. There were approximately 289 marijuana plants, in various stages of growth, with harvested marijuana hanging and drying in a closet.
Hayden faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced on October 13, 2020.
The West Virginia State Police conducted the investigation. Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney L. Alexander Hamner is handling the prosecution.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:20-cr-0055.