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February 23, 2006
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Suspect in pot cave case wanted in Fla.

Member submission:

HARTSVILLE

A man suspected of operating a sophisticated underground marijuana operation in Trousdale County faces weapons and drug charges in Florida, authorities said.

Fred Earl Strunk was arrested Dec. 14 at his home in Gainesville, Fla., where authorities said they found firearms, a grenade and fake documents for at least six different identities. He is in Macon County Jail, where he will be held without bond until he is taken into custody on the Florida charges, Assistant District Attorney General David Durham said Tuesday.

Authorities searched Strunk's Florida home on the same day a raid on his Dixon Springs home revealed a large underground complex with offices, a kitchen and growing rooms with about 850 plants at various stages of maturity.

The plants at the time had an estimated street value of $1 million, authorities said.

In addition to three counts of possession of machine guns, Strunk is charged in Florida with possession of marijuana, PCP and counterfeit driver's licenses.

Durham said he expected a grand jury to meet by next week on the Tennessee charges and that the Florida charges will have little impact on the case for now.

Two Tennessee men, Brian Gibson and Greg Compton, also face charges in the marijuana operation.

— ASSOCIATED PRESS






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