An investigation into a potential human trafficking case of a minor led the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office investigators, deputies, Drug and Major Crimes Unit and district attorney investigators to find multiple marijuana grows and nearly 200 plants.

According to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, on Wednesday DCSO received information on a human trafficking case of a minor. DeKalb County investigators, deputies, Drug and Major Crimes Unit and the DA’s Investigators started an investigation involving this information, according to the DCSO.

According to a release, deputies worked the case throughout the night and into the next day. During the investigation, the sheriff’s office obtained a warrant on Rex Tidmore, 59, of Geraldine, for conspiracy to commit human trafficking, according to the release.

According to the DCSO, investigators also executed a search of his residence on County Road 333 in Geraldine. During the execution of the search, two indoor marijuana grows, with roughly 120 plants and roughly 50 pounds of loose marijuana, was found, the release says — also a second search warrant for a residence at the 3100 block of Alabama 75 in Fyffe stemmed off the first search. According to the DCSO, at this residence, a third indoor marijuana grow was found with approximately 40 marijuana plants. Approximately $45,000 was seized during the search of the residences, too, according to the sheriff's office.

According to the sheriff’s office, Tidmore was arrested and charged with a criminal conspiracy warrant that was obtained earlier that day, trafficking in any illegal drug, manufacturing of controlled substance first and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

The release says during the investigation of this case, another investigation was opened of child abuse and deputies arrested Lea Meri Hearn, 31, of Geraldine and charged her with abuse of child torture/willful.

Hearn and Tidmore were transported to the DeKalb County Detention Center.

The release says investigators and the Drug and Major Crimes Unit has an open investigation on this case, and no further information can be given at this time.

Chief Deputy Michael Edmondson said the office had put in “long hours” to make these arrests.

“The Drug and Major Crimes Unit, district attorney’s office investigators, Geraldine police, deputies and DeKalb County investigators have worked this case hand in hand and have put in long hours on this case and I would like to thank everyone for working so diligently together on this case.”

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