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A Cape Fair man who was charged with multiple drug charges after authorities found a "grow operation" on his property in February waived his preliminary hearing and has pleaded guilty.

Authorities became interested in Christopher Daniel Briley last November after he and a woman were busted for possessing pot.

When the woman was interviewed by authorities she told them that she had accompanied Briley to Colorado, where he has a medical marijuana "certificate", and brought the illegal weed back to Missouri.

When C.O.M.E.T drug officers went to Briley's Battersea Road property for a "knock and talk" they observed plastic bags and digital scales sitting on a table inside the garage. They also found several recently cultivated pot plants, and found marijuana drying out.

Authorities obtained a search warrant and found a trap door hidden in the closet of a barn that Briley used as his office.  A staircase led officers down to two grow rooms.  The first room had 44 plants that were between 2 1/2 to 3 feet tall.  The second room contained 14 plants that were about 2 feet tall.  The grow rooms were outfitted with grow lights, timers and fans, according to the probable cause statement.

Briley pleaded guilty to charges of distribution of a controlled substance.  In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped drug manufacturing and possession of a controlled substance against Briley.

He was sentenced to a suspended 10 year sentence.  He must now serve 30 days shock time that is to be served in the Stone County jail and was placed in drug court.

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