The owner of a Gaston County restaurant and three others were arrested on multiple drug charges involving selling marijuana out of the establishment.
According to police, a "drug conspiracy investigation" centered around Smokey's BBQ Restaurant and its owner, 39-year-old Donnie Allen Wooten, began in November of 2013.
During the investigation, police say an undercover agent bought more than 30 pounds of marijuana, worth more than $137,000, from in and around the restaurant.
Wooten made his first court appearance in Gaston County Wednesday afternoon. His bond is set at $100,000. His probable cause hearing is scheduled for May 8.
On April 22, Wooten was arrested on multiple counts of eleven different charges, including trafficking in marijuana and having a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.
Jake Crawford tells WBTV he ate at Smokey's BBQ several times. He says he had no idea drugs were being sold there.
"That is really surprising," Crawford said. "I mean I would go in there and eat. Didn't seem like anything bad was going on. Kind of crazy."
Police also arrested 35-year-old Michael Gene Huffman on several counts of eleven charges and 29-year-old Tausha Michelle Mixon on four charges, all involving possession and sale of marijuana.
Huffman also appeared in court Tuesday. His probable cause hearing was set for May 8.
Officers are still looking for 25-year-old Jessica Dannette Plummer on outstanding warrants in connection to the case.
Anyone with information on Plummer's whereabouts or the investigation should call Gaston County Police.
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322 Shipyard Boulevard