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Pot Found In Church Basement Arrests Expected After Discovery Of 21 Plants At Cathedral Of St. John The Evangelist

Tue., Jan. 7, 1997

It’s an unlikely crime scene.

Authorities confiscated 21 marijuana plants Friday from the basement apartment of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

“A couple of deputies from the investigative support unit received a tip of a grow operation at the church,” said Lt. David Wiyrick of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department.

“They went up Friday, interviewed several people and found 21 plants under cultivation in the caretaker’s apartment located in the basement.”

Wiyrick said the plants have been confiscated, and he anticipates several arrests for felony manufacturing of a controlled substance.

The apartment is the residence of church caretaker Thomas Heal, who could not be reached for comment.

The landmark church at 12th and Grand was designed by noted architect Harold Whitehouse at midcentury. The cathedral attracts a regular flow of tourists.

The Rev. Mart Craft, one of the cathedral pastors, said church officials won’t comment about the matter until official charges are filed.

“Not until we know the extent,” Craft said. “We’re cooperating with the sheriffs and trying to determine just how many people are involved in this.”

Craft said church services and activities will not be affected.

One woman who attends the church said she hopes the marijuana seizure won’t sully the church’s reputation.

“I don’t think it should be a negative reflection on the church at all,” said nearby resident Andrea Zacher. “The actions of a few people shouldn’t reflect negatively on the majority.”

, DataTimes


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