65 pounds of marijuana seized from former dispatcher's home

- The boyfriend of a former police dispatcher was arrested Tuesday after officials say they found 65 pounds of marijuana in their Catawba County home.

Narcotics officers say they arrested Blong Ly Vang after performing a search warrant at his home in the 4600 block of Belvedere Drive in Claremont.

Officials say Vang is the boyfriend of a former dispatcher with the Hickory Police Department, who was employed with the police department at the time of the search of her home by narcotics officers. The two reportedly live together along with two children under the age of 16. 

Investigators say Vang and his girlfriend allowed them to search the home, but revoked consent after finding three pounds of marijuana. 

Officers say they applied for a warrant and conducted a second search of the home, which resulted in the discovery of two large plastic storage containers in a bedroom with several bundles of high grade marijuana

A handgun reported stolen from Georgia was also found, along with digital scales, a vacuum sealer and an AR-15 rifle, according to deputies. 

Authorities say the marijuana had a collective weight of about 65 pounds and a minimum street value of $130,000. 

“An operation this size is not someone sitting around their home with a ‘smoke bag; this has a low-end street value of over $130,000," Capt. Jason Reid with the Catawba County Sheriff's Office said. "Our drug investigators continue to remain relentless on the distribution of controlled substances in our community.”

Vang is charged with one felony count of trafficking marijuana by possession, one felony count of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, one felony count of maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances, one felony count of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and one felony count of possession of a stolen firearm.

He is being held at the Catawba County Detention Facility under a $250,000 secured bond.

The Hickory Police said that Vang's girlfriend is no longer employed by the department and an internal investigation is being conducted.

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