Man who planned skylift renovation faces marijuana charges

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CLARKSVILLE, Mo. (AP) _ An eastern Missouri man who once had plans to revitalize a gondola ride along the Mississippi River is now jailed after authorities allegedly found 114 pounds of marijuana and $34,000 in his basement.

The Hannibal Courier-Post reports that 74-year-old William Joseph McMurtrey Jr. of Clarksville is charged with felony distribution of a controlled substance. He is jailed on $50,000 bond.

Authorities say federal investigators found the drugs and money at McMurtrey’s home in 2013.

McMurtrey once planned a $2.5 million renovation of the Clarksville Skylift, a tourist attraction in tiny Clarksville. From the 1960s to the early 1990s, the ride carried people to a bluff along the river. That idea drew objections from the Sac and Fox nation of Oklahoma, which considered the bluff a sacred burial ground.