NWGA Scanner | July 11th, 2022

Trio arrested after marijuana grow operation, over 60 dead animals and malnourished dogs found in Floyd County

A Shannon trio remain in jail Friday after police discovered a marijuana harvesting operation at their home in the former mill village. Police also uncovered 63 animal remains and malnourished dogs that were removed by authorities.

The arrests were made by officers in the area working to clean up and revive the area with concentrated patrols and contact with residents. A previous operation that targeted blight in Lindale was very successful and officials expect the same return in Shannon.

Stephen Shuler 35, is being held with no bond and has been charged with willful obstruction of law enforcement officers, aggravated cruelty to animals, no insurance for motorcycles, driving while license suspended or revoked (felony) (fourth or subsequent offense), operation of unregistered vehicle or vehicle without current license plate, not wearing helmet, possession of firearm or knife during commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies, possession of firearm by convicted felon, trafficking in cocaine, illegal drugs, marijuana, or methamphetamine, purchase, possession, manufacture, distribution, or sale of marijuana, purchase, possession, manufacture, distribution, or sale of marijuana, purchase, possession, manufacture, distribution, or sale of marijuana – cleared by arrest 16-12-4(b) – cruelty to animals x7, felony cruelty to animals x63, failure to appear x3, probation violation.

The EPD division of uniformed patrol was in Shannon on Thursday conducting inspections and follow ups when they observed Shuler riding a dirt bike through the small community with no helmet. He refused to stop for police and drove away. Another officer saw him moments later when Shuler darted down a side street. The motorcycle was found in front of a residence and officers converged onto Second Street Extension while a search warrant was being prepared.

Officers walking nearby found the marijuana field and informed others, which led to the discovery of three outdoor operations and one indoor facility within a mobile home. Police founda total of 137 marijuana plants in all stages of growth. Several firearms were also found on the property which resulted in additional charges due to Shuler being a convicted felon.

Large bins on the property contained the remains of 63 chickens in various stages of decay. A mother dog and her puppies were also found and displayed severe signs of malnutrition; Animal Control took custody of the dogs, as well as a duck and a chicken.
Other relatives were arrested due to their involvement with the animal and drug offenses. 

Wendy Shuler, 54, has a $15,000 bond for animal cruelty and drug offenses. Darrin Shuler, 56, has a $15,000 bond for animal cruelty, drug offenses and firearm violations.

In addition to EPD and uniformed patrol from Floyd County Police, the HEAT unit took an active role in investigation as well as the metro drug task force and HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force from U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency), Rome Police crime suppression team, Georgia State Patrol Aviation and Animal Control.