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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
November 21, 2003

1660 Marijuana Plant Underground Grow Dismantled

On November 20, John M. Bott, Special Agent in Charge, Seattle Field Division and Sheriff Phil Jarvis, Bonner County Sheriff's Office, Sandpoint, Idaho announced the dismantling of a 1660 marijuana plant grow operation and the arrest of 3 individuals in Priest River, Bonner County, Idaho. 1160 marijuana plants were discovered in an underground grow and the remaining 500 plants were discovered outside.

Arrested at the Priest River, Idaho property were David UTTER, 45 of Oldtown, Idaho; Robert GONEAU, 53 of Kauai, Hawaii and Duane LAZELLE. 47 of Santa Barbara, California. The suspects appeared before the Bonner County Court where bail was set for the criminal charge of Manufacturing a Controlled Substance. The three suspects were incarcerated in lieu of bail.

Prior to the execution of the search warrant the DEA Special Agents and Deputies from the Bonner County Sheriffs Office observed the defendants attempting to extinguish a fire that had ignited from a generator malfunction in the building that covered the underground marijuana grow. The investigators contacted the Priest River Fire Department and an attempt was made to extinguish the fire. The building was destroyed by the fire, however, the underground marijuana grow received little damage.

For further information contact DEA PIO Thomas P. O'Brien, RAC Selby Smith, DEA Spokane Resident Office at 509- 353-2964 or Bonner County Sheriff Phil Jarvis at 208-263-5274.

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