A Radford man was in the Montgomery County jail on Thursday after authorities arrested him in the attempted burglary of a Christiansburg hemp farm.
Justin Scott Murphy, 29, was charged with breaking and entering, three counts of grand larceny and firearm possession by a felon, according to the county sheriff’s office. The arrest comes a day after a burglar alarm at TruHarvest Farms brought Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies to the business, where they foiled a man’s attempt to enter a barn.
The farm had reported two thefts in January, in which someone took $250,000 worth of the farm’s CBD hemp flower, farm general manager John Straw said. No one has been charged in those cases, but Montgomery County Sheriff’s Capt. Brian Wright said Wednesday that investigators believe all of the cases are connected.
After the 1 a.m. Wednesday alarm, deputies reported a man leaving the scene in a utility terrain vehicle. The man abandoned the UTV and ran when he saw the officers, according to the sheriff’s office. Investigators later learned the vehicle was stolen.
Wednesday’s alarm was part of a beefed-up security system put in place after the January break-ins, Straw said. TruHarvest grows hemp to make CBD products. Their products don’t produce the high associated with marijuana.
The sheriff’s office is urging anyone with information about the case to call 540-382-6915, ext. 44422.
Staff writer Tad Dickens contributed to this report.