|Photo: The Bigheart Times|
|The Halls, from left: former juvenile probation officer Stacy, 46; Dale, 48; Nicholas, 23; and Jared, 19. Charges against the other three family members were dropped when Jared pleaded guilty to marijuana cultivation.|
Marijuana cultivation charges against a former Oklahoma juvenile probation officer, her husband, and a son are being dismissed after another son pleaded guilty and said other family members were not involved.
Prosecutors dropped the charges Friday against Stacy Hall, 46, her husband Dale Hall, 48, and son Nicholas Hall, 23, reports Randy Ellis at The Oklahoman. The case against the other three was too weak to pursue after 19-year-old Jared Hall, the youngest member of the family, pleaded guilty, according to Special Prosecutor Rob Hudson.
Charges were filed against all the Halls after cannabis plants were spotted growing on the family’s farm between Ponca City and Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Officers raided the farm on September 5, 2009.
Stacy Hall was fired as a probation officer after being charged, but is seeking reinstatement, according to her attorney, J.W. Coyle III of Oklahoma City.
The Halls said the charges against them appeared to be retaliation for their having reported horses that seemed to be starving.
“We didn’t know a couple of years ago that when we called the Sheriff’s office complaining of someone with starving horses that they belonged to a deputy who would later become head of the Osage County Drug Task Force,” Stacy Hall said.
The Halls’ lawyer, Coyle, thinks Doug Elliott, head of the Drug Task Force, should be investigated for the way he handled the case.
Elliott claimed he had no idea what the Halls were talking about.
“I’ve never been investigated on anything like that,” Elliott claimed.
“I’ve got a horse,” Elliott said, adding that it “might look to be in poor shape” to someone who didn’t know the animal was 32 years old.
Marijuana plants were spotted on the Hall family’s property by occupants of an Air National Guard helicopter, according to Elliott.
Charges were filed against the Halls after cannabis was found growing about 300 yards from their houses, which sit on a 160-acre Osage County farm, according to Payne County District Attorney Robert L. Hudson, who claimed horses had nothing to do with the case.
“That’s a cheap shot,” D.A. Hudson claimed.
Coyle said about 50 marijuana plants, in two plots, were found on the property. Both were in wooded areas, and Coyle said there was no evidence other family members knew about them.
Hudson said the evidence was strongest against Jared Hall because investigators had photographic evidence of him and a friend cultivating the plants.
The first photos were taken on August 10, only 10 minutes after the game cameras were set up, according to The Bigheart Times.
The other individual allegedly in the photos, Cameron Irons, 19, of Ponca City, has also been charged with marijuana cultivation in the case.
Officers said they visited the pot patch on August 25, 2009 and found that 20 plants had been cut and harvested, with another 20 plants remaining. The investigators then got a search warrant, which was executed on September 3, 2009.
That search led to the seizure of 23 marijuana plants, each about 10 feet tall. The search warrant also turned up seven grams of cannabis in one gun safe, three baggies of marijuana in a separate gun safe, a pill bottle bearing Stacy Hall’s name containing marijuana, a smoking pipe found in the same binocular case containing the pill bottle, and marijuana seeds on the basement floor.
Jared Hall has not yet been sentenced.