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Big Week for Marijuana Busts


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Authorities confiscated about 100 pounds of processed marijuana, 84 plants and more than 20 firearms from a Gasquet residence last week, according to the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office.

Two men had the bad timing of being in the middle of preparing marijuana inside a French Hill Road mobile home Thursday when authorities served a warrant and arrested both of them, said Sgt. Steve Morris of the Sheriff's Office.

"They were inside the mobile home, manicuring and preparing marijuana," said Morris.

Federal Drug Enforcement Agency agents, working with officers from the Sheriff's Office, served the warrant.

The arrests are part of a DEA marijuana farming eradication effort called "Operation Green Acres."

Kirk David Stewart, 45, of Gasquet was arrested on suspicion of planting and cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, selling in lieu of a controlled substance (trading in drugs) and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Stewart's wife was in the home at the time, but was not arrested.

Stewart's previous felony conviction was for the planting and cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale, said Morris.

Fred Kenneth Otremba, 48, of Crescent City was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Although not facing drug charges, Otremba's previous record can add time to his sentence if convicted, said Morris.

"Otremba has a multi-page arrest record and his felony conviction is for selling marijuana," said Morris.

The men will face charges in federal court in San Francisco.

Morris said the warrant stemmed from helicopter flights over Stewart's property, where the men were later arrested.

"We recently overflew the property and saw what we believed to be marijuana growing on his property," Morris said.

When federal agents and sheriff's deputies arrived, "he had two rifles right next to him," Morris said of Stewart.

"There were 22 firearms taken from the house, several of which were loaded firearms which were accessible to Stewart and Otremba," said Morris.

The sergeant said handguns, one semi-automatic handgun, many rifles, a few shotguns, black powder rifles and a black-powder pistol were taken from the home.

"He fancies himself a mountain man," said Morris about Stewart.

News Hawk: PFlynn - 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: Daily Triplicate
Copyright: 2008 The Daily Triplicate
Contact: amadison@triplicate.com.
Website: Triplicate.com
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