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WestNET cracks another big drug operation

When WestNET detectives pulled over two locals in the 300 block of Sedgwick Road last week, they ended a two-month investigation and touched off a two-day treasure hunt that eventually netted more than $850,000 in marijuana.

A 32-year-old South Kitsap woman and a 45-year-old South Kitsap man were arrested for possession of more than four ounces of marijuana which was found on them during the traffic stop. Approximately $4,000 in cash was also found, plus enough information to get officers a search warrant on a house owned by the woman’s 63-year-old father.

WestNET served the warrant that evening on a single-family home in the 5100 block of Daisy Street, located in the Glenwood area. In the home’s detached garage, police found a large marijuana growing operation, including scales, processed marijuana and 472 plants. However, detectives also noticed something unusual — all the plants were the exact same age and in the final, flowering, stage of growth.

WestNET spokesman Randy Drake said single-location grow operations usually have plants at all different stages of growth, from seedlings to mature, harvestable plants.

“We kind of expected there might be another site,” he said.

Officers booked the 62-year-old man and began work to obtain search warrants on two South Kitsap properties owned by the woman — her single-family residence in the 8800 block of Overra Road and an unoccupied double-wide trailer, plus garage, in the 13000 block of Timberwood Place.

Police didn’t find much at Overra — mostly indications of past processing jobs, Drake said. However, in the Timberwood place’s garage, Detectives seized another 348 marijuana plants, more processed narcotic and a surveillance camera system. The trailer was apparently being used solely for trimming and packaging the product — police found processed marijuana, $1,000 in cash and a handgun there.

In total, WestNET recovered more than $850,000 in marijuana at the four site.

The woman and her father, who police suspect to be partners in a marijuana grow/distribution operation, were both booked for narcotics manufacture. The woman was also booked for possession with intent to deliver, because of the drugs found on her at the traffic stop.

The 45-year-old man is suspected to be one of the woman’s dealers. He was booked for possession with intent to deliver as well.

This is the second major marijuana grow operation in the last month broken up by WestNET. The two are unrelated — Drake said the department has just had more time to investigate marijuana rings lately.

“There’s just a downward trend in meth(amphetamine) manufacture right now across the whole state,” he said. “So now we have more time to do other types of drug cases.”

WestNET is a multi-jurisdictional task force typically asked to focus on meth manufacture and distribution. However, the agency also investigates other narcotics problems, including marijuana.

Drake said WestNET is trying to get the state Attorney General interested in this case so it can be prosecuted at the federal level. He said the department is still putting the case together for presentation, but is optimistic.

“I think they might,” Drake said. “This case has aspects I think they’d be interested in.”

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