Spokane drug enforcement officers seized 63 pot plants worth about $63,000 and pot-growing paraphernalia from a North Side residence last week.
Police, serving a search warrant based on an anonymous tip, arrested Richard Townsend, 30, and Dee Anne Smith, 38, for conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance. Both were released Oct. 11 on their own recognizance after a night in jail.
Townsend and Smith were not listed on a search warrant filed with Spokane County. According to the warrant, officers were looking for a 21 year-old white male. As of Tuesday, he had not been arrested.
An anonymous tip left on a Washington State Patrol drug enforcement hotline said the man was growing marijuana at 300 E. Hawthorne Road. The tipster said the man had bragged about a “big payday” between Halloween and Christmas.
The tipster also said there were weapons in the residence, which neighbors described as a “party house.”
Officers drove by the Hawthorne Road address several times in late September, according to the search warrant.
During one drive-by, officers noticed potting soil, potting plants and household plants. On another, officers noticed condensation, which is an indication of a growing operation, according to the warrant.
Power records checked by officers showed power usage this fall was “rather low.” But power bills from July 1994 to May 1995 - while power bills were registered under the 21-year-old man’s name - were twice as large as normal.
During the Oct. 10 search, Spokane Regional Drug Task Force and Drug Enforcement Administration officers found grow lights, fans and pot processing equipment. In addition to the 63 plants, 2-1/8 ounces of processed pot was also seized.
The growing operation was worth at least $63,000 based on an average harvest of two or three plants per year, according to officers at the Regional Drug Task Force, a sixperson, multi-jurisdictional group. That is a smaller operation than is normally targeted, Sgt. George Wiggin said.
Wiggin said home-grown pot is more valued than Mexican-grown pot, which he said often has stems “or other junk” in it.
Burglars get baseball cards, pogs
If burglars had hit the Kids Play Center two nights before, they could have had their choice of stick-on tatoos or pogs.
The burglars who hit the entertainment center early last Thursday had to settle for a vending machine that distributes baseball cards and pogs, collectable plastic discs the size of a quarter.
Store manager Josh Stickey said pogs are popular, but didn’t know what they were used for. Another employee described them as a modern version of marbles.
The burglars broke a $300 plate glass window to get to the vending machine. A nominal amount of change was in the machine, police said.
The vending machine was in an enclosed entry way that was not protected by an alarm. Doors to the store, a few feet from the vending machine, were alarmed but not touched by the burglars.
Gunfire hits house on Sinto
Two occupants of a home on the 2900 block of East Sinto were awakened late Oct. 11 by gunfire from a drive-by shooting. Police found one slug in a door. A second bullet that flew through the house was not found.
Occupants of the house could not provide police with leads on possible shooters.
“No suspects, no nothin’,” said police spokesman Dick Cottam. “Either they didn’t know or didn’t want to tell us.”