Pot bust nets over 300 plants

by Eric Mullens
HUERFANO — Huerfano County Sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant at a location in the northeastern portion of the county Tuesday, arresting two Pueblo men and seizing over 300 marijuana plants.
Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman said in a press release, the pot plants were located on state owned land. Newman said Cliff Bachelor, 33, and James Dale, 34, both of the Pueblo area were arrested.
As of Wednesday morning, both suspects were being held on $100,000 c/s bonds and both have been charged with cultivation a class 4 felony. HCSO Lt. Milan Rapo said both suspects also face an enhancement charge under Special Offender Status that may bump the felony charge to class 2.
Newman said deputies have been observing the location from concealed positions for approximately two weeks and waited until any suspect arrived to work on the pot operation before moving in. Deputies had previously taken and recorded GPS location of the growing operation to determine it was on state land. Two deputies worked the surveillance operation and a total of five county officers including the sheriff and Undersheriff Dave McCain took part in the seizure and arrests Tuesday. Newman said both subjects were arrested without incident and no guns or cash was recovered from the site.
Newman said the grow operation was located in a forested area of about one acre in size and the suspects used a truck with a water tank and pump to water the plants.
Newman said the plants were all knee to waist high and had approximately 10 to 12 weeks left of growth before they were at a mature, harvest stage.
Approximately 302 plants were seized with an estimated DEA street value of up to $900,000.
Both suspects are expected to be advised of the charges against them this week.