Officials bust up pot grow operation
Arthur R. Pierce, 61, and Wendy M. Straka, 40, both of 5507 Kennedy Road, Harmony Township, were arrested on charges of manufacture and delivery of marijuana, two counts of maintaining a drug trafficking place and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, according to a news release from the Rock County Sheriff's Office.
The arrests were the result of two search warrants, both carried out at 7 a.m. Monday. One was at the Kennedy Road address, which is just outside of Janesville city limits, and the other was at 1929 Happy Hollow Road in Rock Township.
Straka is listed as the owner of the Happy Hollow residence.
Rock County sheriff's deputies and Clinton Police Department officers found about 147 marijuana plants and 1,727 grams of marijuana, an amount equal to about 3.8 pounds. They also found and seized an assortment of growing equipment and drug paraphernalia, and a loaded .22 caliber pistol.
Some of the plants were between 7- and 8-feet tall, said Rock County Sheriff Bob Spoden.
A little more than a week ago, Janesville police officers seized 26 pounds of pot at the home of Thomas Reents and Shirley Rotzell, 1835 S. River Road, Janesville.
The department doesn't believe the two operations were connected, Spoden said.
The investigation behind Monday's arrests started several months ago and was carried out in partnership with the Rock County Special Investigations Unit. The unit consists of officers from the sheriff's department and from a variety of smaller police departments throughout the county.
Last updated: 10:53 am Thursday, December 13, 2012