Benton County deputies arrested a Bella Vista couple and seized $30,000 worth of marijuana plants, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office Friday.
Jason Aspedon, 40, and Cynthia Aspedon, 36, were arrested on charges of manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, after the sheriff’s office received a tip from neighbors.
David Craton, the Aspedon's neighbor, said he is not surprised by the drug bust.
"I would have been maybe 10 years ago but not now because this is the 6th arrest that I can remember that's been made on this little cul-de-sac alone," said Craton.
The couple had converted the basement of their home on Brightling Lane into a sophisticated marijuana growing operation, according to the release. Deputies say the basement was concealed by a hidden trap door. The plants ranged from one to five feet tall.
The couple's next door neighbor said her daughter spend a lot of time at the Aspedon's home.
"I don't feel like my child is in danger when she's with them I don't care for the things that may have been going on but I don't think they ever would have put my child or their children in danger," the next door neighbor said.
Investigators dismantled the entire operation, which was split up into different rooms for various stages of the marijuana growing and drying process. Deputies say there were ballasts, chemical supplies, growing lights and an assortment of marijuana seeds in the basement.
Sophisticated growing operations pose an extreme hazard to neighborhoods due to their dangerous electrical wiring, the news release states