High Ridge, MO (KSDK)- Investigators say a man from our area is responsible for a large-scale drug operation 200 miles away.
The man is now charged in connection to the operation in Ozark County near the Douglas County line.
The man is accused of selling the drugs in several states and foreign countries.
Investigators say a Rockbridge resident looking for his lost horse in the woods nearby stumbled upon what he thought was a lot of marijuana.
The resident called 9-1-1 and authorities say it was a large-scale marijuana and K2 drug cultivation and distribution operation.
25-year-old Zachary Pirtle of Jefferson County is now charged with manufacturing and/ or producing a controlled substance after the Ozark County resident made the shocking discovery in the woods on September 24th.
According to the Probable Cause Statement, officers say they found more than 60 marijuana plants, a large amount of processed marijuana, smoking devices with residue, scales, hundreds of feet of garden hose, and other equipment associated with the cultivation of marijuana.
Investigators say all the evidence pointed to Pirtle. He was taken into custody and is already out on bond.
People who live near Pirtle on Rock Creek Rd in High Ridge say Pirtle has been gone for most of the summer but, when he came back they noticed more activity in and out of the home.
"At times there were a lot of cars in and out of there," said a neighbor who does not want to be identified. "If they are doing that kind of stuff they need to go. This is a nice neighborhood and we don't need this kind of stuff here," he continued.
If convicted, Pirtle could face 5 to 15 years in prison.