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Marijuana grow-operation leads to janitor's arrest

A Stockbridge janitor has been placed under a $100,000 bond, after police discovered 93 marijuana plants at a home leased to him.

Ira Lee Butler surrendered to the Henry County Sheriff's Office Tuesday, after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Butler was being held in the Henry County Jail Wednesday, according to jail records. He is charged with trafficking marijuana.

Butler appeared Wednesday in Henry County Magistrate Court, and waived his right to a preliminary hearing in the case.

The Dec. 14, warrant states in addition to the marijuana plants — which total more than 10 pounds in weight — about four pounds of dried marijuana was located in the home.

The Henry County Police Narcotics Unit reportedly found the drugs Dec. 8, while conducting a search at 436 Hood Road in Stockbridge, according to a warrant application completed an undercover agent.

"Agents located a marijuana-grow [operation] with 93 plants located in a back room," the warrant application states.

"Paperwork was located at [the] residence with Ira Butler as account holder." The warrant application adds that police allegedly discovered the suspect, until recently, held an account for water service at the house where the marijuana plants were found.

"On Dec. 10, 2010, the account was canceled for Ira Butler," the application continues.

Butler reportedly requested a refund check to be sent to 2220 Jodeco Road in McDonough, police said in the document. The suspect was the lessee of the home on Hood Road as of Nov. 1, according to authorities.

Defense attorney Dale Preiser represented Butler in court. Preiser said his client "voluntarily turned himself in" to the Henry County Sheriff's Office, after the warrant was issued.

"[I am] not sure if there is a connection with the house, but he resides in a house in Stockbridge with his wife of 20 years and their daughter," Preiser said. "Police have not searched his home as of [Wednesday] morning."

Judge Robert Godwin bound the trafficking charge over to Superior Court.

Additional details on the case were not available from police Wednesday.