Car theft victim charged for pot plants at Freeland home
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
October 12, 2010 · Updated 2:26 PM
A deputy who was investigating a car theft in Freeland this summer ended up arresting the victim after he smelled marijuana plants in the man’s house, court documents indicate.
Now prosecutors have charged the man, 55-year-old Terence Farnworth of Freeland, in Island County Superior Court Sept. 20 with the manufacturing of marijuana, a felony charge. He pleaded not guilty Oct. 4.
Court documents state that Deputy Darren Crownover with the Island County Sheriff’s Office responded to Farnworth’s report that a woman had stolen his car July 28. Crownover’s found that the alleged car thief had warrants for her arrest on suspicion of escape.
Crownover went to Farnworth’s home and talked to him in the driveway. The deputy told Farnworth that he needed a signed complaint and documentation on the vehicle, so Farnworth invited him inside.
Crownover wrote in his report that he could smell “the distinct odor of growing marijuana” before he even went in the house; the odor was more intense inside.
Crownover told Farnworth that he could smell marijuana plants and asked to search the house. Farnworth at first refused, but gave the deputy permission after Crownover arrested him and said he was going to get a search warrant, the deputy’s report states.
Farnworth led Crownover to a marijuana growing operation in his basement, court documents state. The deputy found 28 marijuana plants, three plastic bags with marijuana buds, a bong and growing equipment, court documents state.
Farnworth told Crownover that he had sprayed air freshener before the deputy arrived to cover the smell.
If convicted of the charge, Farnworth could face up to six months in jail. Court documents didn’t indicate whether he got his car back.Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.