64-year-old Lyle man sentenced for weed operation

Published 5:59 pm Saturday, October 22, 2011

AUSTIN — A 64-year-old man who was growing marijuana in his Lyle home was sentenced to five years probation in Mower County District Court on Thursday.

Conrad Walter Petersen was convicted of fifth-degree drug manufacturing. Two other felony drug charges were dismissed in July.

On March 14, Petersen was pulled over by law enforcement in Idaho. Police discovered 3 grams of marijuana and more than $71,000 in Petersen’s possession, according to a court complaint.

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The police became suspicious Petersen might be involved in a marijuana growing operation because the bundles of money smelled like pot, the complaint states.

Mower County Sheriff’s deputies learned of Petersen’s traffic stop in Idaho on March 15 and visited his house in Lyle Township, where his girlfriend also lived. A search of the house uncovered several items used for growing marijuana, including heat lamps, irrigation equipment and a “walled-off room” inside a shed that contained 48 empty growing pots, a carbon dioxide tank and liquid fertilizers.

Petersen’s girlfriend told officers Petersen was on his way to Washington when he was arrested and had bought 20-30 small marijuana plants from someone in Washington on a previous trip.

The seized marijuana weighed 733.5 grams.

Petersen’s girlfriend also received five years probation for the offense.