(WMC) - A Mid-South mega mansion is at the center of a West Tennessee police raid and drug bust. Tuesday night, one man is charged and neighbors are in shock.
The trees surrounding the sprawling Eads, Tenn. estate were hiding more than a beautiful home. Shelby County Sheriff detectives say 48-year-old Mark Giannini was also allegedly harboring firearms and prescription drugs with intent to sell.
Neighbors Martin and Lynne Briggs have known Giannini since they moved into their home nine years ago. They were surprised when Shelby County Narcotics agents and the General Investigation Bureau arrived at Giannini's home Monday morning with a search warrant.
"We were told he's in the computer business or something," said Martin. "I'm just surprised totally surprised."
Giannini spoke to authorities through an intercom but wouldn't let them inside the gate. In fact, they had to manipulate the gate to gain access. When police got inside the home, it was empty.
Police observed wet footprints leading from the home to the woods. Shortly thereafter, Giannini walked up to the house out of breath and covered with fresh scratches. Investigators believe he ran out of the back door into the woods.
WMC Action News 5 investigators went to Giannini's home to speak with him about the arrest. Via an intercom, Giannini, out of jail on a $50,000 bond, asked reporters to give him five minutes and he'd call back.
That call never came.