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11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 9/22/2004 6:54:03 AM EST
Published: Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Police find underground pot garden
The trunk of a car near Darrington leads to a buried shipping container with everything needed to grow a marijuana crop, police say.

By Scott Morris
Herald Writer

DARRINGTON - A drug bust turned bizarre when police searched the trunk of an abandoned car on Tuesday.

"The bottom of the trunk had been cut apart - an area about 3 by 3 feet square with a black board sitting on top of this cutout," said Sgt. John Flood of the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force.

When police lifted the board out of the way, they found a ladder that led to a secret underground passageway. The trunk, it turned out, was the access hatch to what police believe was an underground marijuana-growing shelter.

No drugs were found in the shelter, but it was equipped with grow lights, venting fans, irrigation pipes and plant pots typically associated with marijuana growing, Flood said.

The plant nursery was created by burying a large metal shipping container of the type trucks use to haul freight. A hole had been cut out of the top of one end of the container and a small lobby had been constructed by setting up a wall with a door. The rest of the trailer was a plant-growing facility, he said.

The underground rooms were found after police obtained search warrants for an early morning drug raid on the 5-acre property in the 500 block of Clear Creek Road.

Underground grow rooms are not unheard of, but are rare, Flood said. He's never seen a car trunk used as a secret hatch, though.

"I'll give these guys an 'A' for creativity," Flood said.

Searches elsewhere on the property turned up 30 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of up to $30,000. A 24-year-old Darrington man was arrested and booked into Snohomish County Jail on suspicion of cocaine possession.

Several others who were at various residences on the property were questioned and released. The property has at least six homes.

"We do have some folks here who were probably innocent renters," Flood said.

The raid was the result of a yearlong investigation, as well as stories in recent years from people about drug activity in that area, Flood said. Information used to obtain the search warrants came from informants, he added.

About 45 officers arrived in a silent caravan of vehicles at 7:15 a.m. Some fanned out while a helmeted tactical team clad in black approached the doors of each home and trailer slowly, guns drawn.

"Police department!" one yelled at the door of a camper. "Come out with your hands up!"

One man wearing a baseball cap and khaki jacket emerged, arms raised. Like most present, he was handcuffed, questioned and later released.

Police called in a backhoe to assist with digging out the trailer, making it safer for investigators, who were afraid the roof might cave in.

Darrington Mayor Joyce Jones stopped by more than once to check on their progress. She talked with Pat Slack, the drug task force's commander, about concerns she has heard in the community about drugs.

"We'd like to be a friendly community," she said.

Slack said he hoped the investigation will help.

"I want to make sure the community knows - yeah, you are rural, but that doesn't mean that you're not going to have help," he said.

http://www.heraldnet.com/stories/04/09/22/loc_drugs001.cfm
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 6:58:09 AM EST
Would be a neat way to hide a SHTF bunker.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:01:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Published: Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Police find underground pot garden
The trunk of a car near Darrington leads to a buried shipping container with everything needed to grow a marijuana crop, police say.

By Scott Morris
Herald Writer

DARRINGTON - A drug bust turned bizarre when police searched the trunk of an abandoned car on Tuesday.

"The bottom of the trunk had been cut apart - an area about 3 by 3 feet square with a black board sitting on top of this cutout," said Sgt. John Flood of the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force.

When police lifted the board out of the way, they found a ladder that led to a secret underground passageway. The trunk, it turned out, was the access hatch to what police believe was an underground marijuana-growing shelter.

No drugs were found in the shelter, but it was equipped with grow lights, venting fans, irrigation pipes and plant pots typically associated with marijuana growing, Flood said.

The plant nursery was created by burying a large metal shipping container of the type trucks use to haul freight. A hole had been cut out of the top of one end of the container and a small lobby had been constructed by setting up a wall with a door. The rest of the trailer was a plant-growing facility, he said.

The underground rooms were found after police obtained search warrants for an early morning drug raid on the 5-acre property in the 500 block of Clear Creek Road.

Underground grow rooms are not unheard of, but are rare, Flood said. He's never seen a car trunk used as a secret hatch, though.

"I'll give these guys an 'A' for creativity," Flood said.

Searches elsewhere on the property turned up 30 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of up to $30,000. A 24-year-old Darrington man was arrested and booked into Snohomish County Jail on suspicion of cocaine possession.

Several others who were at various residences on the property were questioned and released. The property has at least six homes.

"We do have some folks here who were probably innocent renters," Flood said.

The raid was the result of a yearlong investigation, as well as stories in recent years from people about drug activity in that area, Flood said. Information used to obtain the search warrants came from informants, he added.

About 45 officers arrived in a silent caravan of vehicles at 7:15 a.m. Some fanned out while a helmeted tactical team clad in black approached the doors of each home and trailer slowly, guns drawn.

"Police department!" one yelled at the door of a camper. "Come out with your hands up!"

One man wearing a baseball cap and khaki jacket emerged, arms raised. Like most present, he was handcuffed, questioned and later released.

Police called in a backhoe to assist with digging out the trailer, making it safer for investigators, who were afraid the roof might cave in.

Darrington Mayor Joyce Jones stopped by more than once to check on their progress. She talked with Pat Slack, the drug task force's commander, about concerns she has heard in the community about drugs.

"We'd like to be a friendly community," she said.

Slack said he hoped the investigation will help.

"I want to make sure the community knows - yeah, you are rural, but that doesn't mean that you're not going to have help," he said.

http://www.heraldnet.com/stories/04/09/22/loc_drugs001.cfm



Am I the only one who noticed that?

This reminds me of the typical assault-weapon journalism that we see....."it wasn't, but it could have been".
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:02:22 AM EST
They stack those things like 6 high on container ships. It would have to be buried REALLY deep to cause that kind of concern.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:02:25 AM EST
I noticed it.



Originally Posted By arowneragain:

Am I the only one who noticed that?

This reminds me of the typical assault-weapon journalism that we see....."it wasn't, but it could have been".

Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:02:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 7:05:19 AM EST by rn45]
Give anyone an idea?

Naaaa...I didn't think so.

No drugs were found in the shelter, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on. Now if the cops had let everyone go and left the container in place, some people would be criticizing them for being niave.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:09:44 AM EST
I've been to Darrington, its a nice layed back, kinda isolated little town.


Now I know why.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:36:31 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 7:39:20 AM EST by David0858]
Just how much did this cost????

45 officers, black clad ninjas with drawn guns, caravan of vehicles, cost of the backhoe and operator to dig that thing up, year long investigation and who knows what all else for some pot and one arrest!!!

Am I the only one that thinks this is one the stupidest things they ever heard of?
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:46:55 AM EST
Sounds like a Mad Max fan.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 9:14:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By KA3B:

"I'll give these guys an 'A' for creativity," Flood said.



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