Army Vet, 80, Busted In Pot Raid; Had Given Names To Plants


Photo: Winona Daily News

​An 80-year-old Minnesota man is facing felony charges after a marijuana raid, with police claiming he is the leader of a what they called a “large-scale grow operation.” 

Welcome to the world of American drug enforcement, where an old man tending a few plants — at least some of which he had apparently given names — passes through the Drug War looking glass and becomes magically transformed into a major grow-op.
Acting on a tip from a confidential informant, police raided a location just south of Winona, Minn., near a family campground on August 24. They say they found an outdoor greenhouse, three firearms, and Army discharge papers dated from 1953 belonging to the man, reported Leif Knutson at My Fox 9.
The elderly suspect, Donald John Everding, had “several” cannabis plants more than eight feet tall as part of an “elaborate” grow operation, police said, reports Matt Christensen at the Winona Daily News. (Hey, you ever notice how, with the cops, grow-ops are seemingly always either “elaborate” and “sophisticated” or “dangerously primitive”?)

Photo: My Fox 9
In addition to the plants, deputies said they also found marijuana in the freezer.

​In addition to the greenhouse grow, deputies claimed they seized plants from inside Everding’s residence. They said they found more marijuana inside a freezer.
Plants were also growing on a neighbor’s property, but Winona County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Kraig Glover claimed they belonged to Everding.
The operation was clearly visible from the road.
The Winona County Sheriff’s Department is drying out the marijuana “to determine the amount of narcotics.” What do you bet those yahoos will count the stalks and stems as “narcotics,” too?
Of course, deputies are claiming the bust is expected to yield “multiple pounds” of marijuana once the plants finish drying.
“This is well beyond personal use,” claimed Investigator Glover. “He is an educated grower.”
Everding has even named some of the plants, Glover claimed, including one tagged “Don.” (I’m thinking instead of the plant being named Don, there is a very bummed-out Don out there somewhere bemoaning the loss of his stash.)
The old man “admitted to dealing marijuana,” deputies claimed. The suspect was not arrested because he is caring for his equally elderly wife.
“If the government would pull its head out of the sand, they could tax this and make money (lots of money) instead of fighting a fight they can’t win and spending money — our money,” commented “Todd” in the comment section of My Fox 9’s story.
“Give me a break,” wrote another commenter. “What a waste of taxpayer dollars. This is marijuana, which is far less harmful than tobacco or alcohol, both LEGAL drugs which kill you. Marijuana kills ZERO. It has countless medicinal benefits. Give the man a break, and don’t press charges, please, DA.”
The case was forwarded to prosecutors to determine charges, which are expected to be filed this week. The Winona County Attorney’s Office is expected to file charges of felony controlled-substance sales and fifth-degree drug possession.