Skyline Drug Task Force arrests 3 in local marijuana growing operation

Shannon Farrar and Gregory Ward, photo compilation: Newsplex
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Three people in Augusta and Nelson Counties are facing marijuana-related charges after an investigation carried out by the Skyline Drug Task Force.

It started with a call to police on Wednesday, March 29, when someone said they saw a suspicious white van on Route 6 near Afton Mountain in Nelson County. At about 10:50 a.m., police found the van in Augusta County and pulled it over for a traffic stop.

Officers found an ounce of marijuana in the vehicle and arrested the driver, Gregory J. Ward, a Staunton man, as well as the passenger, 39-year-old Shannon N. Farrar, of Stuarts Draft.

Both were charged with a felony count of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

Through those arrests, police gained information that then led them to carry out a search warrant at a home in the 2300 block of Afton Mountain Road in Nelson County that same afternoon.

In that house, investigators say they found a half pound of marijuana and also discovered an indoor growing operation for the drug. Kevin B. Kartheiser, a 32-year-old Afton man, was taken into custody and charged with one felony count of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana and one felony count of manufacturing marijuana.

Ward was then charged with a second felony count of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

Both Ward and Farrar are being held without bond at Middle River Regional Jail. Kartheiser, however, was released on an unsecured $5,000 bond.

Police say investigation continues in the case.

The Skyline Drug Task Force is composed of investigators from the Waynesboro Police Department, Staunton Police Department, Augusta County Sheriff's Department, Nelson County Sheriff's Department and Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Appomattox Field Office.