Smokey’s Barbeque restaurant owner Donnie Wooten walked out of jail Wednesday after he was accused of selling more than $100,000 worth of marijuana from his Gaston County business.
Health inspectors have visited the restaurant five times since it opened last January.
Eyewitness News reporter Ken Lemon found out those reports turned up spotless, even though Wooten said his business was not doing well.
The health inspector told Channel 9 the restaurant’s last inspection was in February, and Wooten told him business was poor and that he would probably close down soon.
“Something wasn’t exactly right,” said neighbor Bill Walters.
Walters says he did not eat at the restaurant and rarely saw customers.
Wooten is facing 30 charges related to drug sales in and around his restaurant in Dallas.
Investigators say Wooten, his cook Michael Huffman, and their girlfriends Tausha Mixon and Jessica Plummer worked together to sell drugs to undercover officers.
“It’s just not good for any neighborhood. We didn’t want that around,” said neighbor Susan Wilson.
The restaurant was also across the street from Daycare at Faith Assembly.
Lemon tried to track down the suspects who are not in jail. Tausha Mixon was not at her house. Her mother told Lemon Mixon gave her boyfriend Michael Huffman rides to work, but she had nothing to do with the sale of drugs.
Jussica Plummer is with family in Florida, but Lemon was told she’ll be coming back to face the charges.
Police said the two couples sold $137,000 worth of marijuana.
Officers started their undercover operation in November. The restaurant closed three weeks ago as defendants learned police planned to charge them.