A Needville man arrested in January 2019 and charged with growing marijuana next door to a church and across the street from the high school has had his case dismissed.

Michael Ferguson successfully completed a pretrial intervention program and charges were dismissed in September, the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office reported.

By completing pre-trial diversion, Ferguson essentially will never have been tried, and thus have no criminal record in connection to the case.

Ferguson came to the attention of the law in January 2019 after the Fort Bend County Narcotics Task Force, a Houston HIDTA Initiative, concluded an investigation targeting his residence where the manufacturing and cultivating of hydroponic marijuana was suspected of taking place, Fort Bend County sheriff’s officials reported.

On Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, a search warrant was executed at a residence in the 16400 block of SH 36.

Task Force officers said they discovered the garage had been converted into a hydroponic marijuana growing operation capable of growing and harvesting several hundred plants at a time, deputies reported.

Officers recovered 102 marijuana plants, four large bags of finished product (marijuana), more than $5,000 in U.S. currency, suspected THC edibles and packaging and scales consistent with the sale and distribution of illicit substances, deputies said in a news release.

Ferguson, who was 41 at the time of his arrest, was booked into the Fort Bend County jail for possession of marijuana in a drug free zone, a second-degree felony offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

He was also charged with money laundering, a third-degree felony offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

“I am proud of the work the Task Force has done to get rid of this operation,” said then-Sheriff Troy Nehls.

“Here’s what really bothers me: this operation was directly across the street from Needville High School and right next to a church. Absolutely disgusting.”

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