5 NC men charged with trying to steal hemp (it won’t get you high)

FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2013 file photo, a volunteer walks through a hemp field (AP)

TARBORO, N.C. — Five men have been arrested in Edgecombe County for either stealing or attempting to steal industrial hemp from farms, the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office said.

Industrial hemp will not get a person high as it has less than one percent THC, the chemical compound found in marijuana that gets the user high.

Despite that, five men in total were arrested on Monday and Tuesday while trying to steal industrial hemp from farms in the county.

The sheriff’s office said in a press release that “there have been a number of incidents of people stealing or trying to steal hemp plants being grown in the county.”

On Monday, authorities responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle near one hemp field and found three men attempting to steal plants. William Cooper, 28, Malik Hudson, 21, and Jacquel Baker-Johnson, 25, all of Tarboro, were all arrested and charged with second-degree trespassing. All three were released on $2,500 unsecured bonds, authorities said.

On Tuesday, deputies responded to another report of a suspicious vehicle in the area of the same hemp field. Upon investigating, it was discovered that two men had just stolen hemp plants from the field.

Milton Epps, 36, and Kenneth Williams, 28, both of Rocky Mount, were arrested and charged with felony larceny and second-degree trespassing. Williams was also charged with driving while license revoked.

Both men were taken to the Edgecombe County Detention Center and are being held under $50,000 secured bonds.

The sheriff’s office said they will be monitoring hemp fields in the county and will arrest anyone trespassing.