RAINIER – Thurston County narcotics detectives arrested six people at a Rainier residence Wednesday afternoon after they found about 380 growing marijuana plants worth an estimated $760,000 in four rooms there, court papers state.
Detectives learned that there might be a marijuana grow at the residence, in the 12000 block of Reo Road, because the man who owns the home was arrested Feb. 9 by Oregon State Police in Salem while driving on Interstate 5 with “249 juvenile marijuana plants in boxes, as well as hashish and cash inside the vehicle,” court papers state.
Someone forwarded a Thurston County narcotics detective the information about Jason Wingard Hamilton’s arrest, according to Thurston County Narcotics Task Force Commander Lt. Loreli Thompson.
Hamilton, 40, and five others in the Rainier home were arrested on suspicion of unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance, according to Thurston County Jail booking information. The five others are from Seattle and Shoreline.
The Rainier operation included an illegal electricity diversion and $40,000 to $50,000 worth of humidifiers and hydroponic growing equipment, court papers state. Thompson said the sheer size and sophistication of the operation might have prevented the suspects from removing the marijuana after Hamilton’s arrest in Salem. Or, she added, “maybe he didn’t think we’d check on him.”
Several of the people arrested Wednesday “were covered in marijuana clippings” when they were detained, court papers state. In addition to the marijuana plants, detectives found more than $14,000 in cash.
When detectives walked to the front door for a “knock and talk” operation, they immediately “could smell the strong odor of processed marijuana.” They then obtained a search warrant.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 firstname.lastname@example.org