Traverse City Record-Eagle

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March 5, 2013

Suicide investigation reveals pot

TRAVERSE CITY — A suicide investigation led police to a large marijuana operation in Leelanau County.

Deputies were called to a Kasson Township home early Feb. 22 on report of an apparent suicide of a 55-year-old man.

Authorities smelled marijuana from outside the home, Sheriff Mike Borkovich said. The man’s girlfriend admitted that he grew the drug.

“She said she didn’t approve of it,” Borkovich said. “She said, ‘It’s down in the basement. He grows it down there. I don’t want it here’ ... she said, ‘Break the door. Do whatever you have to do’.”

Police unhinged a locked basement door and discovered a “huge” grow operation with elaborate lighting, a dehumidifier, fans, packaging and vents to the outside of the basement, Borkovich said.

The woman told police her boyfriend used marijuana to medicate for a back injury. Borkovich said investigators couldn’t connect her with the operation other than that she lived with him.

A report has been submitted to the Leelanau County Prosecutor’s Office for review. Borkovich doesn’t anticipate the woman will be charged.

“She had enough loss with losing him,” he said. “We always try to truthfully make the right moral decisions.”

Borkovich said it’s unknown if the man was distributing the drug, and police continue to investigate.

“We took 15 pounds off the street that day. That’s a good dent,” he said.

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