Four arrested by TRIDENT for growing pot |

Four arrested by TRIDENT for growing pot

Four people were arrested in Rifle on Monday after local drug task force members allegedly found them growing marijuana plants in the ground floor of a house.

According to a press release from the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team, or TRIDENT, 131 marijuana plants in different stages of growth were seized as part of the arrest, as were grow equipment and supplies and drug paraphernalia.

TRIDENT allegedly received information about the plants on July 30, and conducted surveillance of the residence from July 30 until Aug. 2. The press release says that four adults and one child, approximately 1-year-old, were seen numerous times entering and leaving the bottom level of the home where the marijuana was reported to be.

Task force officers backed by local agencies executed a search warrant on the residence Monday, allegedly seizing the 131 plants, tools and paraphernalia.

Rifle residents Gene Brownlee, 34, and Jennifer Ryan, 21, were charged with cultivation of marijuana, a felony, and a misdemeanor count of child abuse. Brownlee is also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

The TRIDENT task force commander said Tuesday that the abuse charge was added because the child was subjected to an area where marijuana was growing, which could possibly harm the child.

Lakewood residents Drew Gillespie, 19, and Justin Brownlee, 19, were charged with conspiracy to cultivate marijuana, a felony.

According to the press release, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department and police departments from Rifle, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale participated in the surveillance efforts.

TRIDENT is a multijurisdictional drug task force funded through federal, state and local government funding sources.

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