Snow Helps Police Bust Pot Operation - Nisqually Valley News: Home

Snow Helps Police Bust Pot Operation

Seized: 68 Plants; Yelm Chief Stancil Concerned Illegal Grow Products Getting to Teenagers

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014 3:35 pm

February snow helped Yelm police find an illegal marijuana grow operation this week.

Yelm police arrested two people and seized 68 marijuana plants from a home in the 16500 block of Rainier View Drive Southeast on Monday.

According to Police Chief Todd Stancil, a Yelm police officer lives near the home and for the past nine to 10 months had occasionally smelled marijuana in the vicinity while walking in the neighborhood.

About a month ago, the officer was contacted by a neighbor who said they also smelled marijuana in the vicinity, consistent with what the officer was smelling.

On Feb. 9, the officer smelled marijuana while on patrol. It had recently snowed, and the officer drove through the neighborhood looking for houses with unusually little snow on their roofs.

He reportedly found a house with an abnormal amount of snow melted off the southeast portion of the roof, suggesting grow lights were in use inside. The officer reportedly smelled marijuana in the area.

The officer looked up the license plates of the cars in the driveway and found that the owners of both vehicles were convicted felons for drug charges.

The officer attempted to contact the homeowners that night, but no one answered. He tried again 9 p.m. the next night and a man answered the door. The residence reportedly smelled strongly of marijuana.

David J. Rodgers, 52, reportedly told police he had just smoked marijuana, and initially denied he was growing marijuana. He reportedly told police both he and his wife, Mary E. Parker, 55, had prescriptions to grow medical marijuana. Under state law, medical marijuana patients are permitted to grow up to 15 plants. Rodgers reportedly told police he and his wife were growing 30 marijuana plants in their house — 15 for each of them.

The officer asked to see their medical marijuana licenses and Rodgers’ license was reportedly expired. Because he had already said there were 30 plants in the house, police had probable cause to search the residence and obtained a telephonic search warrant, Stancil said.

Police found two separate grow operations in the garage. The plants were separated by maturity. One room contained 39 medium-sized marijuana plants. The second room had 44 large, mature plants.

Sixty-eight of the plants were cut and taken as evidence; 15 plants were left, as Parker had a valid medical marijuana license.

Rodgers reportedly said he was unaware the smaller plants counted toward the 15-plant total, and that he was growing some of the plants for someone else.

Rodgers and Parker were both arrested on charges of unlawfully growing marijuana.

Stancil said the police department has encountered more youth using marijuana in the past two months. Initiative 502, which legalized possession of marijuana for people 21 and older, has made marijuana more accessible, he said.

Stancil emphasized that the initiative legalized possession and distribution under certain strict conditions — it doesn’t allow people to grow as much as they want, such as 83 plants in their garage, he said.

“If we’re going to make an example out of somebody that is still operating outside of that law, then you’re going to pay a price for it,” Stancil said. “Not following the law allows this type of drug to get into the hands of people who shouldn’t have it, in particular, kids. So this is a good, significant bust for our city. There was a lot of marijuana coming out of those plants. It was obviously going somewhere, and it was obviously going somewhere illegally because nobody had the permits and licenses to sell it.”

If people have questions about the specifics of the new law, they should feel free to call the police station, he said. The phone number for the police station is 360-458-5701.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • yelm1234 posted at 5:42 am on Wed, Feb 26, 2014.

    yelm1234 Posts: 1

    To all these people who actually have no clue what it is you are talking about:

    Pot, AKA, "the gateway drug" is illegal Federally. Meaning, it is a scheduled narcotic! meaning it is bad. Yes, this drug may help SOME people who actually need it for medical reasons. The cops are not going after those people, they are going after the people who are going to ruin this law for everyone; the one's who abuse the law and take advantage of it. In WA State, medical marijuana users are allowed 15 plants per valid prescription. These people had 83 plants between the two of them. ILLEGAL! Class C Felony for Manufacturing MJ. Oh, and if any of you actually read this article, the people arrested were felon's for drugs! Meaning, obviously, they have a history of drug abuse...weird how history repeats itself. And YES! Yelm has a large scale Marijuana Problem in its schools. And its coming from people like this.

    These laws are not made to just let people do what ever they want. There are rules for a reason, if people could just abide by the rules, there would not be any problems...grow up people and learn your local laws and what's really going on in the community.

    And to you people wanting cops to arrest people hurting other people, what you call "serious crimes", they do! There are departments for separate crimes. This one happens to be aimed towards narcotics. So, yes, this specific dept did what it was supposed to, uphold the laws of the state of Washington.

  • AnangelF posted at 3:00 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    AnangelF Posts: 50

    I, too, have heard that animals seek out marijuana when they are dying of catastrophic injuries. It does not "heal" or cure them, but quickens their death to prevent more suffering.

    Having lived in Berkeley during the height of the Peace Movement, Civil Rights, Women's Lib, hippies and Flower Children, "Mary Jane" wafted from the windows and backyards everywhere. It was not too uncommon to spot it growing with the ivy in a garden, and very common to see it coming up from seed in sidewalk cracks. Of the hundreds of people I have known who partook of the drug, I never thought it made any of them more creative, healthier, happier or more intelligent, but maybe it did.
    What ought to be of real concern is the horrible environmental devastation happening on state and national land where the real criminals are growing marijuana on an industrial scale and polluting the streams and forests with pesticides and defoliants.

  • SU posted at 7:11 am on Sat, Feb 15, 2014.

    SU Posts: 1

    My view on this is, Barack Obama himself, says alcohol is more dangerous than pot. Whats going on in Yelm? Washington and Colorado passed recreational laws in 2012 Sales began Jan. 1 in Colorado, and are due to start later this year in Washington. Twenty states and the District of Columbia already have medical marijuana laws. Why is this being put on the front page to scare people? The plant is a miracle!

    Your facebook links are not working and neither is your oped id. Open id says no longer working since Feb 1 2014. Facebook says you have not set the app up.

  • Rulon posted at 4:23 am on Sat, Feb 15, 2014.

    Rulon Posts: 1

    This industry I think will save the United States. So much corruption for such a beautiful plant!! It is amazing. I see viral videos daily of how this has given people a new life. We have natural laws like free will, and this is one of gods plants! We all have cannabinoid receptors in our brain, its made for us. Animals seek it out when sick or in pain. This plant only heals, but like anything you must have respect for it. Stories like this scare people. Yelm is a spiritual city. I think the cops can go easy on these people from now on and go after people really hurting others. Leave the earth changers alone, and I guarantee when nothing else works and you are dying, you will be so thankful.

  • Amy posted at 3:44 am on Sat, Feb 15, 2014.

    Amy Posts: 2

    This is the saddest article I have read in long time. Does the writer know what year this is? Are we on board what is happening with the rest of the state? With legalization and all, even the Super : bowl:... we are known for pot. Why is this article out? Are we in the dark ages? A police officer neighbor, going to snitch you out for some plants you use for medical purposes? And then be hailed as a hero
    " for the kids"--- what bs is that? Your cannabis card expired or you have one plant over, so lets ruin good peoples lives. Lets just arrest everyone! Everyone knows marijuana has been debunked! We have come a long way. These people do not sell to kids! Pick a different drug, like alcohol, which kills so many people, or METH...while pot has brought nothing but relief. It is no gateway drug, thats fear mongering, and fortune telling! Cops want you to be scared, its like the prohibition all over again. I see newspapers ALL over Washington state promoting pot businesses, saying look the revenue, how successful etc..and we are stuck in the 1970s!! [sad][sad][thumbdown]


Welcome to

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Follow us on Facebook