Keego HarborNovember 26, 2013
Oakland NET, Keego PD confiscate 60 marijuana plants from house
By Cari DeLamielleure-Scott
C & G Staff Writer
KEEGO HARBOR — The Keego Harbor Police Department and the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team executed a search warrant on Maddy Lane in Keego Harbor for a marijuana growth operation late last month.
According to Keego Harbor’s officer Robert Barnes, he and officer Todd Hawke were dispatched to check on the welfare of a 6-year-old girl living at the house at the request of her concerned father. While the girl was safe at school, Barnes said, officers entered the house, with permission from the resident, and questions arose about paraphernalia that was in plain view. The woman, 30, said that she had a medical marijuana card, and she voluntarily showed the officers the plants growing, along with expired paperwork, he added.
Barns said that as he and Hawke approached the house, they saw and heard vents blowing on the north and south sides of the house.
“The floors were almost vibrating. That’s how loud the equipment was,” he said. The woman allegedly stated that it was an air conditioner when questioned about the sound.
Chief Kenneth Hurst contacted Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team Oct. 25 for assistance, and once the search warrant was obtained, the teams raided the house, confiscating 60 adult marijuana plants, $6,000, a digital scale, packaging material and documents. According to Lt. Brent Miles of the Oakland County Sherriff’s Office, an adult marijuana plant reaches its maturity stage when it is producing useable marijuana in the form of buds, as opposed to seedlings.
“It is estimated each plant yields approximately two ounces of usable marijuana,” Miles said in a follow-up email. “The marijuana in this particular case was being grown indoors and is considered a higher grade of marijuana.”
Based on the quantity and quality of the supply, Miles estimated the street value of the marijuana to be approximately $36,000. Barnes said the value of the equipment to grow the plants was around $10,000.
In addition to the items removed from the house, a rental car with an Ohio license plate was in the driveway, which, according to the Keego Harbor Police Department, was allegedly used for transporting the drug. Miles said it has been a trend for individuals to use a rental car to deliver narcotics, making it difficult to identify or trace a suspect.
The woman and a second suspect, also 30, were released at the scene, and were later arrested and arraigned in 48th District Court before Judge Diane D’Agostini Nov. 12. Both were charged with delivery/manufacturing marijuana, which is a felony punishable up to four years, and maintaining a drug house, which is a two-year misdemeanor. Their bond was set for each at $15,000 or 10 percent. According to the court clerk, the second suspect paid the 10 percent in cash for both himself and the woman.
In addition to the operation, the two suspects were also allegedly renting a second dwelling on the same parcel, Barnes said, which is a city violation. The residents have been advised that the house could be subject to forfeiture if drug activities continue to take place at the location, and the locks have been changed on the house, Barnes added.
The suspects had their preliminary exam before Judge Kimberly Small Nov. 18, and their case was bound over to circuit court.