Wandering Pitbull Exposes $100K Marijuana Operation | www.WDIO.com

Wandering Pitbull Exposes $100K Marijuana Operation

Heidi Enninga
March 23, 2015 09:55 PM

Reports to police about wandering pitbull led to a $100,000 marijuana bust in Duluth Township. 

Chief Shawn Padden said it was one of the largest drug busts he's seen in the township, and it all started as they were trying to return the dog. 

Police learned this trailer at 1564 Torgeson Road in Duluth Township was home to the pitbull, and was also home to a drug operation too.

"The owner of the dog was located, and when I approached the door, there was a strong odor of marijuana coming from the residence," Padden said. 

When officers from several agencies executed a search warrant there last week, they found this 10-by-25 foot marijuana grow operation. The Duluth Township Police was assisted by the MN State Patrol, MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the St. Louis County Sheriff's Department.

Police say a 57-year-old Duluth man and his 26-year-old son were growing 77 marijuana plants ranging from 16 inches to nearly five feet tall. 

They also found thousands of dollars worth of grow equipment including lights, climate control devices and video monitoring equipment. 

"People think they can move to the rural areas and set up shop like this," Padden said.

Officials said the men were distributing the drug and seized six pounds packaged for sale and several hundred dollars they said is proceeds from previous sales. 

"This is a nice hobby farm, rural community," Padden said. "We really don't appreciate people coming out here, setting up their drug trade. I'm glad we got them."

One of the men told police they had moved to this rural area from the city of Duluth  in the fall to "get away drugs," but eventually ended setting up his own drug trade. 

Since buyers often have to come to the supplier, Padden said rural operations like this one tend to attract crime to an otherwise quiet community.

"You have the potential to draw nefarious characters out to your community that would otherwise not see them, and other crimes do occur because of that, crimes of opportunity, smashed in vehicle, daytime burglary," Padden said.

Padden said his message is simple.

"Do not set up your dope shop in Duluth Township," Padden said. 

The two men are still living in the trailer, and Padden said they're awaiting what will likely be felony-level drug charges in St. Louis County.


Heidi Enninga

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