Kids helped parents with pot grow operation, say police



Posted on November 5, 2010 at 6:35 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 5 at 11:10 PM

EVERETT, Wash.  – An Everett couple is accused of making their children help out with their marijuana grow operation.

On Wednesday, Snohomish County drug officers raided the house on East Marine View Drive. They found dozens of marijuana plants in the basement.

"It's troubling to say the least," says Task Force Lt. Mark St. Clair."There were at least four children living in that house."

Police say the kids, ages 12 to 15, admitted their parents directed them to tend to the plants. According to court documents, the 15-year-old admitted that she helped one of the parents to tend to the plants. She says she helped mix fertilizer, pour the soil into pots and trim buds. She said this would happen on a daily basis.

Police were tipped off when one of the children told a school resource officer at an Everett Middle School that they were directed to tend to the plants.

Officers seized 67 marijuana plants growing in a sophisticated operation in two rooms of the house. St. Clair says just under $5,000 was also found.

"The couple had also barricaded both the front and back doors with two-by-fours," said St. Clair.

Both parents are permitted to grow medical marijuana, but 67 plants put the couple well over their legal limit of 15 plants per person. Currently, there is no law to stop children from living in a house where medical marijuana can be grown.

St. Clair also says it's a health hazard.

"Kids, whether they are helping to tend the grow or not, if they're in the same home where the marijuana is grown than they are potentially exposed to mold spores and fungus in those high humid environments," he said.

The children are now in custody of Child Protective Services.

The 39-year-old father and 35-year-old mother bonded out of jail. They could be charged with growing more marijuana than legally allowed. They could also face a separate charge for involving their children.