Traffic crash leads police to marijuana growing operation

Published 1:11pm Saturday, September 7, 2013

AUSTIN — After a traffic crash allegedly led police to a marijuana growing operation on Tuesday, an Austin man faces two felony charges.

William Marvin Boyenga, 52, was charged Thursday in Mower County District Court with fifth-degree drug sale and fifth-degree drug possession.

Police responded to a collision after 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Eighth Street and 11th Avenue Southwest intersection where a man driving a black truck reportedly failed to stop for a stop sign and collided with a 2013 Hyundai Sonata, driven by a 70-year-old woman. The woman told police she and the other driver both exited their vehicles; however, the man got back in his truck and allegedly fled the scene.

William Boyenga
William Boyenga

After gathering details about the vehicle and driver, police went to Boyenga’s home at 700 13th Ave. SW to investigate. According to the police report, officers found damage to a truck consistent with the accident. However, an officer also noticed the smell of fresh marijuana, according to the court complaint, and knew the suspect had a prior drug conviction. Police said Boyenga admitted he was in a crash and went to retrieve his ID but reportedly shoved an officer who tried to enter and said they could not be in the house.

After obtaining a search warrant, officers reportedly found boxes and plastic bags containing cultivated marijuana, an operational hydroponic growing system with four plants, cut plants that were drying, fertilizer, a digital scale, a box with seedling marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia. The complaint added the total amount of marijuana was 80.61 ounces. Officers arrested Boyenga and placed in the Mower County jail where he was placed on $50,000 bail. He has also been charged with a misdemeanor for failing to stop for the traffic crash. Boyenga’s next hearing is set for Sept. 19.