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Pot Farmers Held After One Reports Theft of His Crop

United Press International

Police said Saturday that they cracked one of the state’s most sophisticated drug-producing operations because one of the suspects complained to the sheriff that someone had stolen some of his marijuana.

St. Francois County prosecutor Gary Stevenson said Fred James Lewis Sr., 61, his wife, Leann, 55, and their son, Fred Jr., 41, were charged with cultivating marijuana. They were being held Saturday in lieu of $750,000 bond each.

“It’s ironic, but last year the elder Lewis reported to the Sheriff’s Department that someone had stolen a bale of marijuana from him,” said Cpl. Norbert Weidenbrenner of the Missouri Highway Patrol.

St. Francois County sheriff’s deputies began an investigation that culminated Thursday when they raided the farm and confiscated about 3,350 pounds of “high-grade marijuana,” with an estimated street value of $6.7 million.

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