Pecan farmer arrested after noisy dispute

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SHAWNEE, Okla. - People near a pecan farm say they've had it with the loud noises.

News 4 told you about the angry residents before when they voiced their frustrations with Benson Park Pecans.

They say the owner, Jim Smith, has been constantly setting off his propane cannons and other sound devices for months. He says he uses the equipment to keep the crows from destroying his crop.

Not only that, they say it used to only be a daytime problem. Now it's around the clock.

"The best explanation I can give you is it's like living in a war zone. It is nonstop like we are being shelled," said neighbor Rick Landes.

Landes says it's hard to have a life with the constant booms.

“Somewhere about 4:30 yesterday afternoon, we noticed the pecan people going out into the field," said Landes. "Ultimately they turned on the propane cannons and apparently set them to go all night long.”

Now the issue has been taken to court. Neighbors went to the district attorney on Friday with their complaints.

In court documents, neighbors say Smith has been harassing them for complaining about the noises from his cannons. Not only that, they say he has threatened to drive their property values down with the cannons and even told them he would build a hog farm across the street from their homes to force them out.

Smith told News 4 that he's the victim and his neighbors are the ones who rigged his cannons, stole from him, vandalized his property, harassed him and his wife, and killed his cows.

But a few hours later, court documents were filed and Smith is facing a stalking charge.

Deputies showed up to his home and arrested him not long after.

If convicted, he could spend a year behind bars and have to pay a fine.

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