Maintenance worker discovers marijuana grow operation in Newport News apartment

Posted at 11:30 AM, Aug 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-06 19:52:45-04

Newport News, Va. - A maintenance worker at a Newport News apartment complex recently took action and got results after he uncovered a marijuana grow operation and helped police bust two residents.

"It was coming out of this vent in this area right here," Brenda Hewitt says, as she shows NewsChannel 3 where her bathroom ceiling was leaking.

The maintenance worker and property manager at Kingstown Apartments told police they had entered the second-floor apartment on July 16th after Hewitt reported the leak.

"It was a total surprise because I had no idea any of that was going on above my head," Hewitt says.

While inside the apartment, several maintenance workers noticed a purple light coming from an area inside the apartment. When they went to investigate, they saw what appeared to be a marijuana grow operation.

The maintenance workers took pictures of the suspected grow, which show a suspected marijuana plant hanging upside down drying out, several buckets filled with soil, and a pile of suspected marijuana.

Christopher Michael Gibson, 23, and Michelle Elizabeth Best, 23, were both arrested on July 21st after police executed a search warrant on their apartment.

During the search, officers recovered several marijuana plants, Mason jars full of marijuana, a digital scale, and bags of marijuana seeds. They also recovered an AR-15 rifle with no serial number and various ammo -- all off the streets thanks to the maintenance worker who went above and beyond the job.

"I would say thank you to him," Hewitt says.

Gibson was charged with four narcotics charges and two firearm charges.  Best was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and manufacture marijuana.