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Streetsboro marijuana grow uncovered, resident arrested

by Dave O'Brien | Reporter Published: July 16, 2014 12:00 AM
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A Streetsboro man is facing felony drug and evidence tampering charges after being arrested July 9 for growing and possessing a large amount of marijuana at his Delaware Trail residence.

Robert C. Baker, 44, is charged with one count each of illegal cultivation of marijuana and tampering with evidence, both third-degree felonies. He was released on $3,500 bond, following his arraignment in Portage County Municipal Court. A preliminary hearing is scheduled on July 18 at 10 a.m. in the municipal court's Ravenna division, according to court records.

Portage County Sheriff David Doak said members of the Portage County Drug Task Force, acting on a complaint and subsequent investigation, was able to determine that Baker was growing marijuana inside his home residence.

Agents got a court-ordered search warrant for Baker's residence and executed it July 9.

Inside, they allegedly found "several independent grow rooms" containing at least 10 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, loose marijuana, sophisticated growing equipment including lights, drug paraphernalia, and several firearms, according to the drug task force and court records.

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The total amount of marijuana weighed between 1,000 and 5,000 grams, according to court records. The evidence tampering charge was filed after Baker allegedly snuck into his own residence on July 9, knowing it was the target of a search warrant, and removed marijuana plants growing in the basement, according to a criminal complaint filed in municipal court.

Additional charges are possible once the case is presented to the Portage County Prosecutor's Office and a Portage County grand jury. Additional charges also may be filed against other members of the Baker household, Doak said.

The Portage County Task Force is comprised of officers from the Aurora, Garrettsville, Kent, Hiram, Ravenna, Streetsboro, and Windham police departments, the Portage County Sheriff's Office, Portage County Prosecutor's Office, DEA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Suspected drug activity can be reported by calling 330-296-8626 or by sending an email to pdtaskforce@sbcglobal.net.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

Facebook: Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

Twitter: @RCCrimeWatch

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