By NIKKI YOUNK
MARINETTE, Wis. - A father and son from Goodman, Wis. have been arrested on felony charges following a drug bust at their home that revealed nearly 300 marijuana plants.
Patrick Lee Franklin, 55, and Taylor Garret Franklin, 21, each face one felony count of manufacture or deliver marijuana-more than 10,000 grams and one felony count of maintaining a drug trafficking place.
If convicted on both counts, each defendant could spend up to 18 and a half years in prison.
They are scheduled for initial appearances in Marinette County Court on June 17.
The charges stem from a May 31 incident in Goodman.
Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve said that his department, the Marinette Police Department, and agents from the State of Wisconsin Department of Justice executed a search warrant at the Franklins' residence.
They seized 279 marijuana plants, 24 ounces of processed marijuana, about $19,000 in cash, drug paraphernalia, firearms, and two vehicles, said Sauve.
The criminal complaint issued by the district attorney in the case indicates that neighbors had been reporting suspicious activity at the Franklins' home to the Marinette County Sheriff's Department since July 2008.
According to the neighbors, the Franklins would transport large bags out of their home during the nighttime hours, and would load hoses, water jugs, pumps, and fertilizer into their van at other times.
The neighbors also reported seeing the Franklins' van in a rural, wooded area south of Armstrong Creek, Wis. in Forest County.
In addition, the neighbors noticed that the Franklins would keep their doors and windows open during the winter months, cover their windows with dark material, and constantly check the cameras installed on their property.
Deputies believed that the practices were consistent with the manufacture of marijuana.
After obtaining power records for the Franklins' home, deputies noted that there was extremely high usage for April 2010 and April 2013.
Deputies felt that this was further evidence of the Franklins starting marijuana plants indoors and then transferring them to an outdoor location.
Following the bust, Patrick Franklin told authorities that the marijuana was for medical use to relieve pain and anxiety, the complaint said.
According to the criminal complaint, Patrick Franklin said that he smokes about one ounce of marijuana every three to four days a week.
Sauve would like the public to be vigilant of illegal marijuana growing operations as they recreate in Marinette County forests and fields this summer.
Anyone with information about illegal drug activity can contact the Marinette County Sheriff's Department at (715) 732-7626 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-427-5857, www.tipsubmit.com, or by texting "Marinette" plus the message to 274637.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.