Marijuana Found Hidden In Auction Painting

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — A local man who bought a painting at auction told Channel 2 Action News that he later discovered the artwork had an alarming secret.

Gordon Clement, of Cherokee County, said he found thousands of dollars worth of drugs hidden in the painting.

The 80-year-old gave Channel 2 Action News reporter Eric Philips an up-close look at the painting and recounted how he discovered 4 pounds of marijuana stashed inside the frame of the painting he owns.

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"I was devastated … it was nerve racking," said Clement.

SLIDESHOW: $4K In Pot Hidden In Painting

Clement bought the painting at a post office auction about five years ago. He discovered the drugs last weekend while trying to sell the artwork at another auction. Clement wanted $25 for the painting.

"It didn't sell," said Clement. But while a family member was lifting the painting back into the truck, they felt something moving inside. A worker then pried open the back with a screwdriver.

"And that's when the discovery was made … 4 pounds of marijuana inside the picture frame," said Clement.

"I didn't know what to do," said Clement.

He decided to take it home and call his lawyer, but on the way there, he was a nervous wreck knowing he had an illegal substance in tow.

"I kept telling the driver, ‘Cool it, slow down.' He said, ‘I'm only going 45,'" said Clement.

Clement's lawyer told him to call police, which he did. Investigators told Clement that the pot was worth $4,800.

Clement was relieved to get rid of the drugs. He said he has never experienced anything like this in his 80 years. However he added that this is not going to cramp his style, and he'll continue going to the auctions.