Crownsville couple charged with drug offenses after raid

Aerial observation on Shore leads to arrests

September 14, 2000|By Chris Frates | Chris Frates,SUN STAFF

An aerial sighting of a marijuana patch on the Eastern Shore has led to the arrest of a Crownsville couple and the seizure of thousands of dollars worth of the illegal weed, psychedelic mushrooms and the drug known as ecstasy.

State police said 41-year-old Brian Voith was arrested Saturday after 33 plants were put under surveillance in Caroline County. His wife, Lisa, 31, was arrested in a raid later that day at their home, in the 700 block of Whitney's Landing Drive.

Police raid house

Police said they found about 3.5 pounds of marijuana, 10 marijuana plants, hallucinogenic mushrooms, liquid mushroom spore and four ecstasy pills in the house.

Brian Voith was charged with manufacturing and possessing with intent to distribute marijuana and other offenses.

His wife was charged with manufacturing and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute the mushrooms, and possession of ecstasy.

Both were released on bail Sunday, according to District Court records, his $75,000 and hers $85,000.

Police said the house had a basement laboratory with lights, tubs, fertilizer and other items used to grow marijuana and mushrooms.

"I would call if a very substantial seizure," Cpl. Earnest Tullis of the state police Southern Maryland Drug Unit said of the Crownsville raid.

Distinct plant

Police said the plants in the Shore patch were 13 to 15 feet high.

A typical plant can produce about a pound of marijuana, but police said that in this case the buds - the most sought-after part because of their high chemical content - were large, and that they could have produced twice the usual yield. The street value of the marijuana was estimated at $70,000.

Police said the marijuana was first sighted early last month by aerial observers in the police force's Marijuana Eradication Unit. In a wooded area, the bright green of the plant stands out amid duller shades of foliage, said Sgt. Harry McDaniel, coordinator of the unit.

The unit alerted the Caroline County Drug Task Force, which is composed of state police and local law enforcement agencies.

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