Tracking down home-grown weed

Local News

WATERTOWN, SD (KELO) — The drug bust at a Watertown apartment we first told you about Thursday is a rarity for South Dakota law enforcement. That’s because officers just don’t see that many illegal growing operations based inside someone’s home, let alone an apartment.

Sioux Falls police estimate they encounter only a couple of these types of cases every year.

On Wednesday, police arrested Adam Remington and Sara Widger for allegedly growing marijuana in their Watertown apartment, where their 4-month-old child also lived. The couple is facing several charges, including intent to distribute marijuana.

An apartment seems an unlikely place to grow pot, with so many potential witnesses living nearby. But police say apartment dwellers are sometimes reluctant to say something if they see, or smell, something.

Watertown police sniffed-out marijuana while responding to a domestic assault at Adam Remington and Sara Widger’s apartment.

“You never know what you’re going to encounter,” Detective Sergeant Chad Stahl of the Watertown Police Dept. said.

Police say they found a handful of plants inside the couple’s apartment.

“When you think of a marijuana grow operation, it doesn’t necessarily have to be this large, vacant building or anything like that. It doesn’t take much to grow marijuana,” Stahl said.

More sophisticated growing operations could bring in more cash for the dealer, but Sioux Falls police point out there’s risk involved in ramping-up production.

“There’s a lot that people can do if they want to do, but of course, when you’re talking those bigger operations, there’s a better chance they’re going to be discovered by law enforcement,” Sam Clemens of the Sioux Falls Police Dept. said.

But even the distinctive odor of marijuana wafting through the hallways isn’t always enough to motivate neighbors to get involved and call police.

“A lot of times, people just stick to themselves. They don’t want to report anything, unless things get out of hand,” Stahl said.

Part of that reluctance may involve not wanting to turn-in their next-door neighbor, or fear of retaliation, if they do. But police remind people that tip calls remain anonymous and can break-up a drug operation that’s otherwise hiding in plain site.

Clemens says most of the marijuana they deal with in Sioux Falls comes from cartels in Mexico, or came from other states.

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