Man arrested on pot charges
A concerned resident who noticed the pungent aroma of ripe marijuana alerted Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies to an alleged pot patch at 16881 Old Downieville Highway Wednesday morning. The discovery led to the arrest of Michael Edward Schreiber, a 44-year-old Nevada City carpenter, on suspicion of planting and cultivating marijuana, a felony.
Schreiber had a doctor’s recommendation for medicinal marijuana, but Nevada County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force member Bill Evans said that did not explain why he had 30 plants – three times the legal limit – growing at his home.
“One person cannot use all of the marijuana he was growing,” Evans said.
After sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene around 9 a.m., obtained a search warrant and kicked down the door, neighbors called Schreiber at work and let him know about the raid.
A neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, said he and his fiancee have lived in the area for only a couple of months and met Schreiber when he gave them some firewood and his work phone number in case his two Rottweilers became loose.
“We were laying in bed,” the neighbor said of Wednesday morning. Deputies arrived at Schreiber’s home and “kicked in the door. I called (Schreiber) and said ‘Hey, there’s cops in your house.'”
Schreiber then called his home. Evans answered the phone and told him to “come on down.” Schreiber was arrested without protest shortly afterward.
Nine marijuana plants were found in an indoor garden inside Schreiber’s garage, and 21 plants were in a fenced-in back yard.
“This one was pretty obvious, and if you drive by you can see them over the top of the fence,” Evans said of the marijuana plants.
Some of the plants were 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide, but Evans said Schreiber clipped the tops to keep them hidden.
Once deputies opened Schreiber’s front door, the marijuana’s smell spread into the street.
“I thought I smelled a skunk,” the neighbor said.
The bust produced a smaller marijuana crop than the task force’s 50-plant yield on Sept. 24. Authorities said 1,321 pounds of pot they confiscated in the earlier raid had to be destroyed because there was no place to store it.
Evans said a marijuana garden does not have to be huge to attract neighbors and law enforcement.
“Don’t grow drugs,” he said, “if you don’t want to get arrested.”
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