Pierce County prosecutors have dismissed all charges against a Lakewood man accused of running an illegal marijuana-growing operation.
Deputy prosecutor John Sheeran wrote in a motion filed this month that the state’s case against John Deeter “is dependant upon testimony of a confidential informant, and the law enforcement agency is not prepared to have that informant testify at this time.”
Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson ordered Lakewood police to return to Deeter all property they seized during their investigation.
Deeter, 51, was arrested and charged with 26 crimes, including leading organized crime and unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance, in August 2010.
Prosecutors alleged he ran an operation that illegally grew and distributed marijuana.
Five co-defendants pleaded guilty to various charges.
The case against Deeter resulted from a monthslong undercover investigation by Lakewood police, who launched the probe after receiving information from a confidential informant that Deeter was distributing large quantities of marijuana from two homes he owns in the Tillicum area.
Deeter’s attorney, Ned Jursek, wrote in court documents filed in December that police never provided him with information about the informant’s criminal background or “any other information that would indicate truthfulness or untruthfulness of the C.I.”
Evidence obtained by the informant while wearing a recording device was useless, Jursek wrote.
“It is impossible to tell who is saying what or what the conversations are about due to a large amount of background noise being picked up by the microphone,” the attorney wrote.
There were other evidentiary issues as well, Jursek wrote.