Record Drug Bust in Campbell Co. After 150+ Pot Plants Discovered
This story has been updated with exclusive information from our news partners at Fort Thomas Matters
On Saturday, September 5 at approximately 1:00 p.m., Officer Eric Reiman of the Cold Spring Police Department responded to Winters Lane in Cold Spring after a solicitor at the property was chased from the house by the owner's dog.
According to state records, the solicitor called police and upon making contact with the dog's owner, Tully J. Hardy, Officer Reiman wrote that he "detected a strong odor of marijuana about his person."
Another officer on scene, Officer Kim Williams noticed a greenhouse in the driveway "containing green plants that also had the strong odor of marijuana coming from it. Inside the greenhouse, the house and in the backyard were approximately 100 green leafy plants of various sizes believed to be marijuana.
An investigation then took place at the property and Hardy, 30, was eventually arrested and charged with four felonies: trafficking in marijuana in excess of 5 pounds, cultivation of marijuana in excess of 5 plants, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a controlled substance, LSD.
After a search warrant was served, authorities seized 156 plants of suspected marijuana.
According to authorities, depending on the size and maturity of the plant, a single plant can produce between half a pound and two pounds of consumable marijuana.
An official close to the investigation called the bust one of the largest busts of an active "grow operation" in Campbell County history.
Hardy's mother and owner of the property, Rebecca Hancock, 62, was arrested and charged with cultivation of marijuana in excess of 5 plants. She lives at the house full-time with her son and codependent. Hancock was previously arrested in 2011 with promoting contraband.
According to the state's records, Hardy admitted that he sells marijuana to friends. Also inside the house were paper strips that he admitted was LSD. He also admitted that there was a 1911 handgun with a loaded clip.
The property, located at 5237 Winters Lane, has a lis pendens/forfeiture lien notice on the property because it was used "in the commission of, or to facilitate the commission of, the cultivation of marijuana and trafficking in marijuana. The property is now subject to forfeiture to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Winters Lane is located directly off of Alexandria Pike, in a suburban neighborhood.Kyle Frimming, lives near Hancock's home.
"It was very surprising, especially in this part of the town. We've grown up in Campbell County. I've seen (Hardy) walking up and down the street a few times, but the overall situation caught us off guard because there was nothing really to ever suspect." he said. "Just all of a sudden you see five cop cars and wonder what the heck is going on."
Other neighbors were surprised that the alleged grow operation was taking place seemingly in front of them. Jann Eilerhoff, who lives on an adjacent street said that the high growth of plants around the house made it difficult to see what was going on behind the home. "We look after each other in the neighborhood and if we would have seen this operation, we would have reported it. I don't know if they intentionally grew it high or not, but it was tough to see anything back there."
Hardy has an extensive criminal record. He has been arrested 24 times in Kentucky on multiple charges between 2003 and 2015. He had been charged with trafficking narcotics eight times and charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon twice before his latest.
Hardy is currently in custody in the Campbell County Detention Center and has a cash bond of $200,000. It was originally set at $300,000.
Hancock had a $100,000 bond and was released with a GPS device and other restrictions. Calls to Hardy's attorney were not returned.
Written by Mark Collier for Fort Thomas Matters
Photo: Hardy & Hancock, Cold Spring residence (via Campbell Co. Detention Center & Fort Thomas Matters)