A 50-year-old Crosby man was charged Thursday in Crow Wing District Court with two counts of fifth-degree sale of marijuana after law enforcement confiscated the drugs with a street value of $10,000 to $20,000.
Both counts carry a maximum of five years in prison and/or $100,000 fine or both.
Judge David Ten Eyck set Jerry Dean Erickson’s next omnibus hearing for 9 a.m. Oct. 22 and set bond at $25,000 without conditions.
Erickson was arrested Tuesday by the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department in connection with the seizure of 100 marijuana plants that were growing throughout Erickson’s property and neighboring property.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Erickson:
• The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office received a report that marijuana was being grown on the 20000 block of Private Drive Way near Ironton. The reporting party stated that Erickson was growing the marijuana and he had planted six plants across the fence on her property. A narcotics agent was aware from previous conversations with a neighbor that suspicious activity had been occurring at the residence and that there had been short term vehicle traffic to and from the residence. There also had been foul odors coming from the property.
• A sheriff’s lieutenant and Crosby officers went into the yard and secured Erickson and continued to the next driveway and met with the complainants who stated that a neighbor was cutting some trees on his property near the property line of his property and Erickson’s. As he was cutting, he came across several marijuana plants growing in buckets. The neighbor said that shortly after discovering them, Erickson came down the property line and started talking with him. During this conversation, Erickson indicated that the plants belonged to his brother. Erickson asked if he could remove the plants at this time and the neighbor told him no.
• A lieutenant observed several marijuana plants growing in buckets. These plants appeared to have been pruned and manicured throughout the summer. The lieutenant was also informed that there were several plants in buckets in the back of the white van which the defendant said were his. In briefly speaking with Erickson about the neighbor dispute, Erickson admitted to the lieutenant that the plants were his and not his brother’s. Erickson said that the property and residence were his father’s.
• Authorities went to the residence and spoke with the owner, who indicated that they were not his and that he knew nothing about the marijuana and he signed a consent to search form for his property.
• Narcotics agent searched the area around the tent that was located in the wooded area to the east of the residence. In a pile in the woods there were several small plastic cups, ice cream pales, plastic coffee containers and bags of fertilizer. The agent recognized these items as items that are commonly used start marijuana plants in before they are transferred to larger pots. One red cup had a small marijuana plant still planted in the cup. One small marijuana plant that was placed into a Gatorade bottle also was found.
• Over 100 marijuana plants were located all throughout the property. The majority of the marijuana plants were located on the property on the 20000 block of Private Drive Way and the wooded area to the south of the property. There were beat down trails to each of the plants indicating that the plants were watered, pruned and manicured on a regular basis. There were numerous watering containers found throughout the property. The plants were often in groups of three to six with a couple larger groups located. There was also five plants located on the neighboring property. These plants were in similar buckets that the other plants were located. The five gallon buckets were painted camouflage with some dried grass clippings around the stem to preserve moisture.