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Marijuana grow operation busted in Pipestone County

PIPESTONE -- Two Holland residents have been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and more after an executed search warrant turned up alleged evidence that meth had been produced at the site of a marijuana grow operation.

Corey Russell Thompson, 43, and Kerri Ann Franz, 33, are each charged with first-degree meth manufacture, first-degree conspiracy to manufacture meth, two counts of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance and exposing a child to meth.

The complaint states the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on a residence on Superior Avenue West in Holland. At the home were Thompson, Franz, and two children, ages 5 and 2.

During the search, agents allegedly found a marijuana grow operation including a climate-controlled cabinet, grow lights, chemical fertilizers and more than 100 marijuana plants. Six of the marijuana plants are believed to be mature mother plants.

Several gallon and quart-sized plastic zipper bags containing a total of approximately five pounds of marijuana were located. Some were marked with a weight and ready for sale, the complaint states. Also in the grow room was a container that held hundreds of marijuana seeds. Reportedly, there were other plants outside the growing cabinet in the same room.

During the search, agents located a pen straw and a zip bag in the master bedroom, both containing meth residue.

While searching the garage, agents came across several items that allegedly show meth had been produced on the property. A glass pipe and jar were coated with a white substance that tested positive for meth. Also found was a pill grinder, lithium batteries, gas generators, camping fuel, coffee filters, two respirators and several unidentified liquids.

The two children were taken into protective custody and placed with Pipestone County Family Services.

Bail was set at $15,000 for Franz and at $45,000 for Thompson. Both were approved for a public defender.

Thompson has a previous conviction for conspiracy to manufacture meth in Lincoln County. He pleaded guilty to the charge in 2003 and was sentenced to 40 months incarceration.