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273 pot plants seized; alleged grower released from jail

Wed., Feb. 26, 2014, 5:16 p.m.

A man suspected of growing 273 pot plants in a Spokane Valley rental home was released from the Spokane County Jail on his own recognizance after a brief court appearance Wednesday.

Cole A. Brown, 21, has a criminal history of only two misdemeanor charges, said Spokane County Superior Court Judge Greg Sypolt in ordering his release. Brown has been charged with manufacturing a controlled substance.

According to court documents, neighbors called police when they suspected their new neighbors in the 200 block of North Conklin were running a drug house. Surveillance cameras were installed at the home and all the windows were blacked out except for two upstairs windows that were open no matter what the weather. Air conditioners were also running continuously, even in cold weather, neighbors told police.

An investigation showed that the residents were using an abnormally large amount of electricity, documents state. When deputies obtained a warrant and searched the house they reportedly found 273 plants and five growing rooms.

Brown reportedly told police that he had no knowledge of the marijuana plants and never went upstairs or in the basement where the growing rooms were located, documents say. A detective wrote in court documents that the odor of marijuana inside the home was overwhelming.

The Spokane Valley Police Department reports that the investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected.

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