- Cullman, Alabama

September 25, 2013

Man arrested for pot-growing operation, assaulting deputy

By Lauren Estes
The Cullman Times

— A Cullman man was arrested on six charges after shoving a police officer to the ground, picking up his homegrown marijuana plant and fleeing from his residence on Thursday.

Derek Michael Schmidt, 35, was arrested at his home located at 23775 County Road 222 after deputy Rob Cook came to question him about vandalism to his previous employer’s business. Chief Deputy Max Bartlett said as Cook walked to the front door of the home, he noticed marijuana plants in plain view growing in five gallon buckets in a neighboring chicken house.

“There was a 10-foot door open to the chicken house and the marijuana plants were visible,” Bartlett said. “The suspect then came outside, pushed the officer down, grabbed some marijuana plants and ran. The officer pursued him and employed a taser, and he was then arrested.”

Strickland Septic Service’s owner reported vandalism done to their business with multiple colors of paint, as well as several items stolen.

A quantity of marijuana was also recovered from inside the residence.

“Cook showed good initiative to investigate the report filed by the owner of Strickland Septic Service on the vandalism,” Bartlett said. “Officers were able to locate empty paint cans of the same color in his home, as well as paint on his clothing. They also recovered accelerating tools from the home that were reported stolen from the business.”

Schmidt was charged with criminal mischief, first degree, receiving stolen property, second degree, assault, third degree, unlawful possession of marijuana, second degree, resisting arrest and tampering with physical evidence.

He is being held at the Cullman County Detention Center on a $19,000 bond.

Lauren Estes can be reached at or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.