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Mount Vernon Man Arrested for Marijuana Grow Operation

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Mount Vernon, Washington-  Detectives from the Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit were notified of an illegal grow operation in the 15000 block of McLean Road on November 28th, 2015 after the Fire Department responded to a structure fire in an outbuilding  at the residence.

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by SkagitBreaking.com through a public records request, fire units responded to a garage/outbuilding fire at the residence.

Once the fire was put out, the Fire Marshall realized the garage contained the remnants of a large scale Marijuana grow operation. The Fire Marshall believes the fire started in a fan in the far North of the Garage.

A PSE representative on scene told Fire Investigators that PSE had been to the residence three previous times because the residence had been drawing so much power that it was melting the transformers on the street. PSE had eventually cut power to the house, but investigators noted that it was apparent the residents had diverted power from the garage to the house so that both spots would be powered off the garage power meter.

Fire Investigators contacted the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office, who responded to the scene.   Deputies observed the garage was broken up into three separate rooms. One contained the remnants of approximately 50 marijuana plants, one contained the remnants of around sixty plants and one room contained growing supplies and electrical equipment to help power the grow operation.

Deputies were unable to locate a valid growers license for the residence, so they applied for and received a District Court Search Warrant. Skagit County Deputies met with Skagit County Drug Enforcement Unit Detectives and executed a search warrant at the address.

Detectives observed that the residence did not appear to be occupied and appeared to be solely used to grow marijuana by the lack of any furnishings, food or other personal items in the house.

Detectives did find over 60 pounds of processed marijuana in the house, well over the personal use amount.  They also found various supplies used in the processing and producing of marijuana, including sifting trays, grow instructions, a surveillance system, and butane honey oil, which is a very potent by product of marijuana.  Deputies also located a drying room and a basement that had been retro fitted to grow marijuana indoors, but was not operational at the time of the warrant service.

Deputies contacted the homeowner, who told them he had rented out the residence to a JORY MULLEN for the previous three years. The homeowner told deputies that Mr. MULLEN had deposited $2,000 a month directly into his bank account.

Deputies then Contacted MULLEN who told them he did not live at the residence and he had sublet it to another man over a year ago and MULLEN told deputies this man had dealt with the homeowner directly for Rent.

Deputies then recontacted the homeowner and asked them if they knew the man that MULLEN had told them about and the homeowner told deputies, no, he had only ever collected rent from MULLEN. The homeowner also told deputies that he had received a $700.00 repair bill from PSE several months earlier.

Detectives contacted the man, MULLEN had said he sublet the property too and he told deputies he worked for MULLEN as a plant tender and was paid an hourly wage and that MULLEN was the sole renter of the home. He also told deputies that the homeowner was unaware of the marijuana grow operation at the residence.  He also told deputies that he was unaware of any financial dealings of the operation and that MULLEN handled all of that.   He then told deputies that MULLEN had asked him to take responsibility for the grow operation so he had arrived before four or five other people that were supposed to be trimming plants that day.

Deputies then contacted the Washington State Department of Employment and Security and learned from 2010 to 2015, MULLEN had only reported income totaling $609.00. Additionally the Skagit County Assessors Website shows that MULLEN purchased a residence in the 2000 block of Little Mountain Road in Mount Vernon for $425,000.00 in February of 2015.   The address on the Assessors website also lists the McLean Road address where the original marijuana grow operations was found.

Inspections reports for the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries show that MULLEN had requested an electrical inspection at the Little Mountain Road address and informed the inspectors that he planned to grow marijuana at the location.  He also said he did not live at the address.

In February of 2016, Detectives with the Mount Vernon Police Department executed a search warrant at the Little Mountain road address in reference to a Sex Offense case regarding Jory Mullen. Through various interviews, detectives also learned that there was potentially a marijuana grow operation at this location.  As part of the search warrant, detectives were allowed to inspect the marijuana grow for legality.

Detectives serving the search warrant did find a marijuana grow operation at the Little Mountain residence.  An attached garage had been converted to grow marijuana, however there were no plants growing in the garage. A detached garage was divided into two rooms, each with around 30 marijuana plants in each.  There were two medical marijuana authorizations posted in the detached shop with two names other than MULLENS.  Detectives counted 58 growing marijuana plants and another four drying racks with around 10 pounds of Marijuana drying on the racks.  Based on the authorizations, the grow operation was above the legal limits for medical use.

Detectives were unable to locate a valid producer or processor license with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board for the Little Mountain Address or for MULLEN.  He is also a convicted felon which would prohibit him from obtaining lawful status as a producer or processor of marijuana.

Based on the above facts, the Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit applied for a full search warrant for the Little Mountain Road Address. Detectives located 60 marijuana plants in the detached building and confiscated 30 of them. Detectives also confiscated 13 pounds of processed Marijuana from within the detached building and I-502 consulting paperwork outlining an agreement for MULLEN to provide “agricultural consulting services” to Frogtree Farms, LLC in exchange for a percentage of the cash value of each harvest.  The financial structure of the agreement is quite lucrative for MULLEN and started on December 18th, 2015 and ends on December 18th, 2016.

Detectives contacted both individuals listed on the medical use authorizations and one man told detectives he loaned his authorization as a favor to MULLEN with no compensation.  The second man told detectives that he had an agreement with MULLEN and had designated him as his medical marijuana provider a few months prior. Part of the agreement was that MULLEN would provide the man with 4 ounces of marijuana a month and the man told Detectives that MULLEN was one month behind on his payments. He also told Detectives that he would sometimes help MULLEN trim the plants at his Little Mountain Residence in Exchange for “free medicine.”

JORY MULLEN was taken into custody on March 3rd, 2016 for Six (6)  counts of Violation of the Uniformed Controlled Substance act and one (1)  Count of RAPE of a Child in the First Degree and four (4) Counts of Prohibited Acts B Penalties.  He is currently being held in LIEU of $300,000.00 bail at the Skagit County Jail.

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About the Author

Chris Nelson
I'm a long time Skagit County Resident. I believe in doing the right thing and helping others when you can.

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