Routt County Sheriff's Office Dep. Clark Kreger checks out a small room used to grow marijuana in the garage of a home in the 28100 block of Routt County Road 41A in the Hilton Gulch area south of Steamboat Springs. Kreger and Dep. Shawn Hockaday uncovered the operation after the homeowner, who was renting out the property, alerted law enforcement officers.

Photo by John F. Russell

Routt County Sheriff's Office Dep. Clark Kreger checks out a small room used to grow marijuana in the garage of a home in the 28100 block of Routt County Road 41A in the Hilton Gulch area south of Steamboat Springs. Kreger and Dep. Shawn Hockaday uncovered the operation after the homeowner, who was renting out the property, alerted law enforcement officers.

Deputies make pot bust

Cops seize Hilton Gulch marijuana operation, make arrest

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Routt County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Miles De Young carries a grow light used to cultivate marijuana out of the garage of a home in the 28100 block of Routt County Road 41A in the Hilton Gulch area south of Steamboat Springs. The Sheriff's Office started processing the scene early Monday morning.

Investigators with the Routt County Sheriff's Office needed all day Monday and a 26-foot-long U-Haul to deconstruct and seize a major marijuana growth and distribution operation south of Steamboat Springs.

By the end of the day, deputies had arrested 27-year-old Kyle Lindahl on suspicion of possession of marijuana, sale of an illegal substance and possession of a deadly weapon. Lindahl is co-owner of downtown Steamboat liquor store Pioneer Spirits.

Investigators could not yet assign numbers to the alleged operation, including the amount of marijuana seized, but Investigator Ken Klinger pointed out many signs of a large and long-term operation where the plants were grown, dried, packaged and shipped.

"Most of the marijuana grows that we have found are 10- to 15-plant grows," Klinger said. "This is the biggest one I've seen in 12 years."

The drug bust was made in the 28100 block of Routt County Road 41A, in the Hilton Gulch area south of Steamboat Springs. The smell of marijuana was evident walking down the driveway toward a small house and a white two-car garage shaped like a barn. On the second floor of the garage were three rooms, including a hidden room that included 23 immature plants and 23 strands of marijuana hanging across the room to dry. In an adjacent grow room, plants as tall as 3 feet grew in small plastic pots under grow lights. The third and largest room had dozens of discarded potting plants, stripped of their vegetation.

In the house, investigators said they found additional evidence such as a loaded weapon and bags of marijuana ready for distribution. Klinger said investigators did not know where the marijuana was being distributed.

Sheriff's Office officials credited the bust to rookie Deputy Clark Kreger, who wrote the search and arrest warrants and arrested Lindahl when he turned himself in Monday evening.

"He did a great job," Sheriff Gary Wall said. "I'm as proud as I can be of these guys. This is what we do."

Kreger and his training officer, Deputy Shawn Hockaday, received a tip Sunday from the property's owner. Hockaday said the property owner discovered the operation while inspecting the property in anticipation of renting it to a new tenant beginning next month.

"If it wasn't for the owner, we wouldn't have known this was here," Hockaday said.

Lindahl has hired Steamboat defense attorney Kris Hammond, who said Monday night that he was not yet prepared to respond to the allegations against his client.

"I have not seen any of the reports related to this case," Hammond said. "He turned himself in this evening, and we're at the very beginning of this."

The size of the operation presented logistical problems for Sheriff's Office officials, who said they plan to rent a trailer to house all the evidence.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

taxslave 6 years ago

It's the alcoholics in government that cause the masses to do drugs....imho

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JDR4 6 years ago

Gonna rent a trailer to house the "evidence"? money well spent, and time wasted. in the opinion of 80 percent of america, it is wasted time.

specifically with pot.

and a "war" on drugs that can be won, is a war where we treat people for problems, and drug addiction, rather than treating as a criminal issue. and we could just do away with 70 percent of it just by stopping, and thinking, and not arresting people with marijuana offenses. besides, im sure the time spent looking at these people will be better spent looking at people who REALLY need the help.

but instead, we send 18-80 year old stoners, hippies, yuppies, everyday americans, who would fold at the sign of hurting another person, we send them to prison with killers and white supremacists. this jail here in moffat county is full of the latter. its a great place to send non-violent pot smokin americans.
but... no matter how you feel on the issue, you must admit we are in a sincere and dismal failure with the war on drugs, maybe its time to change the thought and reasoning behind it?

billions a year. billions. how many treatment centers that would actually assist in serious drug abuse.. how many would that build a year? soon maybe we wouldnt even need to worry about it, like some other places who have softened drug stances, and find it hard to locate meth, or speed, much less see people, in epidemic proportions ruining themselves off of it.

billions.//

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David Carrick 6 years ago

JDR4, great reasoning ("and we could just do away with 70 percent of it just by stopping, and thinking, and not arresting people with marijuana offenses"). It would follow that, using the same logic, we could just do away with 70 percent of the murders if we would just stop, think, and not arrest people for murder.

Sorry...no can do...and your "80 percent of America" who feel fighting marijuana's illegal use is a waste of time...where did you get your stats? Polling a convention of potheads, 20 percent of whom didn't understand the question?

Good job, LAW enforcement...since it still IS the law!

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JDR4 6 years ago

Law enforcement task forces and its officers that go after pot operations are a joke, and you need to uncover your eyes. For instance ACET or GRAMNET in 2005 used HALF ITS MONEY to go after pot arrests. well almost half the money given. and in question, whcih they seem to have a problem handing over the records asked for, used money to both campaign illegally in '04 and used METH funds from the state to go after pot arrests, both pretty serious misuse of the money given.

The only reason its done, arrest/raid pot operations, is to prop up the massive revenue stream given and taken, then handed to these people who proceed to pillage otherwise law abiding citizens. And yes pot is illegal, but who are you kidding? who do you know that is or has been severely hurt, more than alcohol or cigs, oh wait they are legal i better keep quite. Sure there are those shiny nosed new peace officers who truly believe in making a difference in the war on drugs, but who are they to have a stronger voice than reasoning, and pure fact that we are FAILING, and arresting pot users is nothing more than a joke.

13 states now have medical marijuana, soon to be 14, and more and more municipalities are passing "low priority" initiatives. you know why?! cause people are learning more, becoming educated, and understanding that we have been lied to about pot for quite a long time, and now even medical communities are accepting use of the ingredients in pot.

if they were really concerned about our health alc and cigs would have a deep grave by now, but wait, we already tried that, maybe we should look at the great example prohibition set.

For the record i was wrong it is 73 percent of Americans, sorry buddy, and this isn't the only source, so use the thing called Google if yah doubt the number... I could care less if i changed your mind on the topic, cause im sure you are set in your ways, but alot of other people find all this info and talk, pretty darn relevant. http://www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/inthenews/2007/american-view-on-marijuana.html

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JDR4 6 years ago

here is some more studies. check the sources, not just some crazy stoner research here, i think the american cancer association, and american medical journals will suffice enough in vouching the validity of these studies

over 100 studies of marijuana medical efficacy: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7002

AND to brush off your snide remarks and one sided view of twisting my reasoning.. Murder is murder. You think i compare pot use to murder? That was the point, pot use is not a serious crime, and people using it and growing it, ARE NOT dying from it.

Thanks for making my point even more clear.

How 'bout next time you look a little closer at what is said, and possible look a little closer at the idea pot is pretty much harmless when compared to, well really anything....

did you know you can die from raw potatoes ;) i mean youd have to eat like over a dozen in like no time at all, but still, you could literally shove your own weights worth of pot down your throat and the only thing you are gonna kill maybe, is that bag of doritos.

speakin of doritos, i gotta go RAID the cabinet... legally.

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JDR4 6 years ago

A felon can vote, so long as you aren't institutionalized at the time.

You made a good compromise P. lol. An innocent life, innocent meaning able to be reformed and non-criminal to the bone, fed to the wolves of a prison system, rather than treat accordingly is no way to go.

this all goes without saying pot smokers/vaporizers cant really be treated. how are you gonna treat something with almost no addictive qualities, and where out of all the people in treatment for weed, only 18% are there because they or their family chose to put them there. the other mass is there because they were ordered into a program that acts as a revolving door. the percentage is opposite for other drugs like meth and coke.

weird huh?!

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here_to_stay 6 years ago

Is it just a coincidence that they have a drug bust and the next day it hits the news that the sheriff (that is know to be lax on drugs) has a 300k short fall in his buget

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