Ludlow men deny charges in drug raid
By DANIEL BARLOW Southern Vermont Bureau | June 01,2005
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — What began as an investigation into a recent home robbery led police to uncover a marijuana-growing operation and arrest two Ludlow men this weekend, according to court documents.
Ludlow Police were investigating the theft of about $10,000 in ski and stereo equipment from a Route 100 home when one of the suspects in the crime told authorities that he had marijuana at his 58 Pleasant St. apartment.
The drug was added to a search warrant list police sought and after the search concluded, 40 potted marijuana plants, about 20 pipes and bongs and two guns were discovered in the suspects' home.
Police arrested Patrick Searl, 20, and Adam Dean, 19, both of Ludlow, after recovering the marijuana plants hidden in a pillowcase in the attic, according to court records.
Both men were charged with burglary, cultivation of more than 25 marijuana plants, grand larceny and possession of stolen property. If convicted of the four felonies, each faces a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison.
Searl, wearing a black shirt and white shorts, and Dean, wearing a black T-shirt for the English rock band Motorhead, did not speak during their arraignment Tuesday in White River Junction District Court.
Public defenders entered their innocent pleas before Judge Harold Eaton Jr. The suspects were released on several conditions, including that they not contact the owner of the Route 100 residence they allegedly robbed.
Searl and Dean are accused of stealing a television, stereo system, DVD and VHS players, four snowboards and two fly-fishing rods from a Route 100 residence on May 20, according to court documents.
Police were notified of the robbery by the Connecticut owner of the home on Saturday, court documents state. Searl lived at the home until it was recently sold and kept a spare house key, which was used to enter the house, according to police.
Ludlow Cpl. John Gaudet went to the men's Pleasant Street home on Sunday after Searl's alibi that he was working at a steak house when the robbery occurred did not pan out, according to an affidavit filed by police.
During questioning at the Ludlow Police Department on Sunday, Searl allegedly admitted that he and Dean robbed the house and had marijuana inside their apartment, according to court documents.
"Me and Adam Dean drove from our apartment in Ludlow to Route 100 where I used to live and went through the front door and grabbed the stereo system, the T.V., the speakers, snowboards and headed out the back room where we would leave the stuff to get more," Searl wrote in a statement to Ludlow Police on Sunday. "We then loaded it into the Blazer and took off."
Dean was allegedly smoking marijuana when police began the search of the Pleasant Street apartment Sunday, according to court documents. Fifteen minutes after police told him his apartment was about to be searched, Dean allegedly began smoking marijuana.
When police asked Dean if that was marijuana they could smell in the apartment, he allegedly told them that he was "just packing a bowl." A small glass jar of marijuana was found in Dean's pocket when he was arrested, according to court documents.
In addition to the drugs and stolen property, police also allegedly found marijuana-growing lamps, several large bags of Miracle-Gro plant food in the apartment.
Police said the two appeared to be growing the plants in a closet, but hid them in the attic when police showed up to search the apartment. Ludlow Police estimated the street value of the marijuana buds on the plant to be around $80,000.
"This is one of the biggest busts in Ludlow in several years," Ludlow Officer Rick King told the Herald on Monday. "These plants were at full maturity."
Contact Daniel Barlow at email@example.com.