Two Bemidji residents are in custody after a Beltrami County sheriff’s deputy came to their home to serve one of the residents with civil filings. When the 29-year-old man opened the door to accept services, the deputy claims the smell of marijuana was quite strong. After applying for a search warrant, police officers searched the home and claim to have found 85 marijuana plants.
What is interesting about this investigation, however, is that both the 29 year old who originally opened the door and a 42-year-old woman were both arrested on marijuana charges. The Bemidji Pioneer does not indicate who owns or rents the home, nor does it appear that there was any evidence to indicate which of the two individuals arrested was in charge of the supposed grow operation. Although it would be next to impossible to miss 85 marijuana plants in a home, it does not mean that both of the suspects were involved in the manufacture of marijuana.
If police and prosecutors hope to convict either of these individuals they will need to have concrete evidence that shows that they were involved in the growth and care of these marijuana plants. If there is any doubt as to who was involved or if they were both involved, it is important that a criminal defense lawyer brings that up during their trials. It is not enough to say that they were both in the home and, thus, were both involved with the manufacture of drugs.
The two suspects are being held on $10,000 bond.
While it does not seem that the way in which the Beltrami deputy approached the home violated any constitutional rights, it is essential that the evidence presented against the two specifically connect them to the marijuana plants. Trying to convict them on conjecture or assumptions as to who was monitoring the plants will not be good enough.
Source: The Bemidji Pioneer, “Minnesota: Overwhelming smell of marijuana leads police to Bemidji growing operation,” Justin Glawe, Feb. 21, 2013
Stop by our Minneapolis drug possession website to find out more about how we have helped individuals charged with marijuana possession defend themselves.