Tahoe man arrested for growing pot
A citizen’s complaint about illegal firewood sales led to the discovery of about 15 pounds of marijuana plants and processed marijuana Saturday night at a home in the Montgomery Estates neighborhood.
Andrew R. Stein, 24, of South Lake Tahoe was arrested for unauthorized cultivation and processing of marijuana, after El Dorado County Sheriff’s officers reportedly found 31 marijuana plants and an indoor growing operation.
Sgt. Les Lovell responded to the citizen’s complaint about illegal firewood sales on Black Bart Avenue and contacted a person who said the wood was owned by Stein.
When Lovell arrived at Stein’s home on the 2100 block of Marshall Trail around 6:40 p.m., no one answered the door. According to the report, Lovell heard people inside the home and went to the side of the house. Lovell, who has testified as a drug expert, reported that he smelled the strong odor of growing marijuana coming from an open window in a room over the garage. The occupants of the home were contacted by phone by the dispatch office and Stein agreed to come to the door, investigators said.
Lovell reported that when the front door was opened he again smelled growing marijuana, which is similar in odor to the spray smell of a skunk. Lovell told Stein of his suspicions and Stein allegedly admitted that he was growing marijuana. He consented to a search of the residence.
Along with the plants and processed marijuana, seeds for cultivation, grow lights, a drip irrigation system and other equipment were also seized. Investigators said the majority of the plants was in a bedroom over the garage, but some were found in a roommate’s bedroom closet. The roommate was not charged. Stein allegedly claimed all the marijuana as his.
Investigators said Stein had been living at the residence for about a year. They suspect he has been growing marijuana for the majority of that time.
As for the firewood, Stein allegedly told the officers that he was brokering the firewood for a friend but he didn’t have a business license to sell the wood.
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