Eight pounds of marijuana seized in Janesville raid

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Frank Schultz
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

JANESVILLE—Concern for a neglected dog led police to a hefty horde of marijuana on Janesville's west side last week.

Police recovered more than eight pounds of marijuana and made two arrests after a search-warrant raid at the residence, police Sgt. Chad Pearson said.

Police had received a complaint that a dog had been left alone in the house at 219 N. Marion Ave.

On Feb. 19, police found notices on the door that were not removed, uncollected mail in a mailbox and no footprints or tire tracks in the snow,  Pearson said.

An officer entered the residence Feb. 20 through a window with the help of the fire department, according to a criminal complaint. She found “a large amount of dog feces,” according to the complaint.

Police are allowed to enter a home without a warrant if they can confirm that a domesticated animal is endangered, Pearson said.

The officer went to the lower level to find the dog and came across two golf ball-sized balls of suspected marijuana on a workbench, along with a smoking pipe, a digital scale and packaging materials, the complaint states.

Police returned the next day with a warrant. Behind a seat in a pickup truck in the garage were eight bags of marijuana, each weighing a pound or more, the complaint states.

Another 13 ounces of marijuana in eight vacuum-sealed bags were found in the house.

Based on evidence collected, police suspect the house had contained even larger amounts of marijuana in the past, Pearson said.

Arrested early Sunday morning were the adult residents of the Marion Avenue address, Jorge H. Salazar-Cruz and Karla M. Salazar, both 30.

They were arrested on charges of possession with intent to deliver marijuana near a school, maintaining a drug trafficking place and abandoning an animal.

The animal-abandonment charge was not listed on the criminal complaint issued by the district attorney's office, however.

The Salazars told police they and their children had been in California to visit a family member, and they also have family in Waukegan, Ill.

The couple told police the family had moved from California to Janesville last November and they had not been employed since then, the criminal complaint states.

Salazar-Cruz was arrested with $1,142 in his possession, the complaint states.

Each of the accused was held on a $10,000 cash bond. Karla Salazar posted bond and was released Tuesday.

The amount of marijuana seized is much larger than Janesville police usually encounter, as their enforcement strategy is to focus on street-level dealers, Pearson said.

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