Fulda man busted for growing marijuana
WORTHINGTON -- Charges were filed Monday against a 55-year-old Fulda man arrested last week for growing marijuana in his basement. Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force agents arrived March 5 at the home of Neil Jerald Sieverding to serve a Murray County...
WORTHINGTON -- Charges were filed Monday against a 55-year-old Fulda man arrested last week for growing marijuana in his basement.
Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force agents arrived March 5 at the home of Neil Jerald Sieverding to serve a Murray County arrest warrant regarding a delinquent account for a driving while impaired fine.
According to the complaint, the woman who answered the door, Sieverding's mother, told the agents Sieverding was not home, but one of the agents saw him looking through the bottom windows of the porch door.
While the officers were arresting Sieverding, they noted a smoking device made of a toilet paper roll and aluminum foil on a coffee table next to an ashtray containing green stems. During a search of the porch, a brown paper bag was located that contained a gallon-sized plastic bag that was full of a green, leafy substance. When asked what it was, Sieverding said, "oregano." As he was arrested, he told his mother, "Old habits are hard to break."
Based on what the officers had found and Sieverding's prior drug conviction, a search warrant was sought and obtained.
In the house, mostly on the porch and in the basement, they found a number of items associated with the manufacture and sale of marijuana, such as a scale and rolling papers, potting soil, fertilizer, ph-testing items, seed starters and grow lights.
In the basement, officers entered a room that was padlocked -- the same room in which marijuana plants had been discovered in 2005. This time 28 plants were discovered, along with a thermometer, a calendar and a pad of paper containing notations regarding the progress of the plants.
One notation, dated Jan. 26, stated, "picked branch (too immature, but good), good enough to sell."
Sieverding declined to give a statement.
He is charged with fifth-degree controlled substance sale with prior conviction, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine, and a mandatory minimum of six months incarceration.
He pleaded guilty in 2006 for a Nobles County fifth-degree controlled substance sale crime and was sentenced to 36 months, stayed on the condition he serve 90 days on home monitoring and five years probation. Other conditions of the stayed sentence included no alcohol or substance abuse and that he remain law-abiding.
Five days after he was sentenced, he was arrested in Murray County for driving while impaired and driving after revocation. He was convicted of the DWI charge and sentenced in October 2006 to 30 days in jail. In April 2007, he was sentenced to an additional 30 days on electronic monitoring for a probation violation.