Man suspected in Marietta pot growing operation found dead

The man police believe was behind a Marietta marijuana-growing operation uncovered earlier this month was found dead Thursday in a Mississippi motel room, according to authorities.

Three hundred marijuana plants were seized by Marietta police officers investigating an allegation of child abuse.

According to Marietta police spokesman Officer David Auld, officers on Nov. 18 responded to an allegation by a juvenile of child abuse against Jessie Lee Jr. When they arrived at the residence in the 1300 block of Banberry Road, they detected a strong odor of marijuana.

A search warrant executed at the home uncovered a grow house that contained 300 marijuana plants. Police also found a handgun, Auld said.

Authorities had an active warrant for Lee’s arrest on charges of manufacturing marijuana, trafficking marijuana, distributing marijuana, possession of a firearm, aggravated assault, cruelty to children, false imprisonment and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

He was found, along with 36-year-old Ditrena McIntyre Lee, dead Thursday morning in a Grenwood, Miss. motel room.

Greenwood Police Chief Ray Moore said officers were called to the Golden Coach Inn about 9 a.m. and used a pass key to enter the room.

Once inside, Moore said officers found Ditrena Lee lying face up on the bed. Jessie Lee was found lying face up on the floor near an interior wall.

Moore said no outside physical signs of trauma were found on either body. Autopsies were being performed.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.