Local race owner, wife charged after 65 pounds of pot found

Credit: Rowan County Sheriff's Office

Local race owner, wife charged after 65 pounds of pot found

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by RICHARD DEVAYNE / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @richardwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 8 at 7:23 PM

SALISBURY, N.C. -- The Rowan County Sheriff's Office arrested a husband and wife after 65 pounds of pot were discovered in their possession during a drug raid earlier this month.

"Our office received a Crime Stoppers tip about people traveling back with drugs pretending to be a shipment of oil," said Deputy Chief David C. Ramsey of the Rowan County Sheriff's Office. "We just thank the public for their tips. Their tips help solve a lot of crimes."

(Click here to view photos of the drugs found inside the trailer)

Thomas Clark Llewellyn, 57, and his wife, 54-year-old Danna Ward Llewellyn, were charged with conspiracy to traffic marijuana, trafficking marijuana by possession and trafficking marijuana by transportation.

"They are good people, outstanding," said Michael Myers, the couple’s son-in-law. "They are holding up the best they can. We are saying a lot of prayers."

Authorities from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Davie County Sheriff’s Office executed search warrants related to information that marijuana was being transported from Salisbury to the West Coast disguised as a trip to obtain motorcycle oil from Blaine, Washington.

(Click here to view photos of the drugs found inside the trailer)

During the search of the couple's property on June 7, investigators said they discovered 62 pounds of medical grade marijuana concealed in a compartment built inside a motorcycle trailer. The marijuana lined the walls of the trailer and was held in place by bungee cords and duct tape, according to the police report.  Additional marijuana was found inside a detached garage. 

A total of 65 pounds of the high grade marijuana was discovered during the investigation, with a wholesale value of $325,000, according to authorities.

Investigators also said they seized a total of $10,057 in cash, drug paraphernalia and a gun.

"We found the gun and the cash in the race shop," said Deputy Chief Ramsey.

Thomas Llewellyn is the owner of Starship Engineering, a high performance race shop that specializes in motorcycles, according to the company Web site. The site states Llewellyn's success began with a team of three bikes and three riders, including himself, in pro classes of the IDBA, SCA, Dragbike and Pro-star divisions in the 70s and 80s.

After that, Llewellyn established an alliance between Starship Engineering and Johnson High Performance Racing, to build and campaign the world’s first Nitro-injected Funny Bike, and the world’s only top fuel Nitro-injected V8 motorcycle, the Web site says.

"He goes to work every day sometimes seven days a week," said Myers "We are just holding up on prayers and friendships."

Thomas Llewellyn, a previously convicted felon, was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

Llewellyn and his wife were released under a $25,000 bond.

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