26 pounds of pot seized by police at alleged Janesville drug house
JANESVILLE In two decades of police work, Sgt. Jim Holford had never seen a bigger marijuana bust than the one he participated in Thursday afternoon, he said.
"We had to get a bigger scale to weigh it," he said.
The pot weighed in at 26 pounds Thursday after police confiscated it from the basement of a house at 1835 S. River Road, Janesville, at about 3:30 p.m., said Holford of the Janesville Police Department. That's more than double the amount of marijuana Janesville police seized in all of 2008.
The residents of the home, Thomas R. Reents, 40, and Shirley C. Rotzoll, 38, were arrested on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, Holford said.
Police had been investigating the house for a couple of months after someone complained about traffic in and out of the home, he said.
"We can document that there were drug deals going on in the house while small children were present," he said.
Those children, ages 2, 5 and 10, are now in the custody of a grandparent, he said.
The marijuana was found in a large orange tool chest, Holford said.
Police believe the couple did not grow the marijuana themselves and are trying to find out where it came from, he said.
He estimated marijuana's street value at $1,000 a pound, making Thursday's seizure worth $26,000.
Police believe the marijuana was meant for distribution in Janesville and don't think the couple were handling it on their own, Holford said.
"In order to move this quantity would require some kind of assistance," he said.
Janesville police seized 8 pounds of marijuana in a home on April 22, 2008. At the time, Lt. Tim Hiers said he didn't recall the last time the department seized that much.