Marijuana plants and evidence confiscated

Local News

A week after Winnebago’s former mayor and his son were charged with cultivating cannabis, Faribault County authorities obtained a search warrant to protect evidence — marijuana plants.

According to court documents, law enforcement left the 240 plants growing at two greenhouses and a Main Street building where they were found on Feb. 8 — until Scott Robertson tried to turn off the power that was keeping them alive.

An application for a warrant to search the premises says, “to remove evidence in order to prevent further destruction.”

The search warrant says 185 plants, a five-gallon bucket of presumptive hemp seeds and digital pictures were seized.

Robertson, 67, and his 46-year-old son Jacob are each facing two first-degree felony counts of unlawfully cultivating more than 23 cannabis plants.

They also face felony charges of first-degree conspiracy of unlawfully cultivating more than 23 cannabis plants, and first-degree aiding and abetting of unlawfully cultivating more than 23 cannabis plants.

On Feb. 17, deputy Briar Bonin reportedly learned of attempts to shut off the electricity at both locations and the city turning off the water at the Main Street building.

The search warrant alleges Scott Robertson had called BENCO “numerous times” to shut the power to the buildings off, saying, “I’m not going to b***s*** you, I’m in a lot of trouble and just need the power off.”

A search warrant filed on Friday, Feb. 23, in Faribault County District Court says that authorities were made aware of a photo from a motion-activated camera placed inside a greenhouse on 340th Avenue.

From the photo, inside of the greenhouse appeared to be “smoky/hazy,” according to the search warrant, and when the deputy arrived he found the temperature was at 50 degrees and the power was off.

The deputy put two electric heaters in the building so the water systems would not freeze, says the search warrant, and also turned the growing lights back on to keep the plants from freezing.

Preliminary test results from mature plants found at the Main Street building, according to a search warrant, indicate that flowers tested at “well above” the 0.3 percent THC concentration allowed for hemp plants.

Robertson has a remote Zoom omnibus hearing scheduled on April 29, while his son is scheduled to have an omnibus hearing on March 25.

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