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Man accused of growing marijuana says he wants to help people

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Updated: 9/07/2013 11:08 am
CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. (WSOC) -- Sheriff deputies in Catawba County said Friday they discovered the largest indoor marijuana grow this year.Dozens of plants, some 5 feet tall, were removed from a home near Maiden.

Deputies said they got a tip from narcotic officers in Lincoln County about a possible indoor grow.

They said when they opened the doors to a large storage shed, they found plants inside. 

Investigators sent pictures of some of the nearly three dozen plants they found off of Carmel Ridge Drive that were not only inside a storage shed, but in the home. 

Channel 9 spoke with several neighbors who were surprised by the bust. One told us the shed has only been there for a few weeks. 

"Just a young bunch of boys. They swim. He told me about three or four months ago if we make too much noise you tell me," neighbor Geneva Benfield said.

Joshua Silva, 23, faces several felony drug charges, including manufacturing marijuana. 

"I had nothing to hide. When they came in I told them where everything was," Silva said.

Silva spoke with Channel 9 after being released from jail Friday afternoon. He freely admits to growing the pot with the hopes of helping others in states where it has been legalized. 

"For people who have cancer. I know marijuana doesn't cure it but if it gets their mind off of dying or pain for a couple of hours that brought happiness to me and happiness to them," Silva said.

Sheriff Coy Reid said despite some states recently changing laws over the sale of marijuana, his deputies are going to remain aggressive when it comes to people using and growing the drug.

"It is an illegal drug. Lincoln County has the same mindset as Catawba County does. It is illegal and we're going to deal with it. If you're growing it, you are going to jail," Reid said.

Silva said he didn't plan on selling the pot, but the sheriff is not so sure. He said the marijuana seized is valued at more than $70,000.

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