Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hunters rewarded for help in pot bust

Casey brothers receive rewards of $1,500 each

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling congratulates brothers Cary, center, and Casey Cramer for their assistance in busting a marijuana-growing operation northwest of Carey in September. The Cramer brothers received rewards and the thanks of county authorities at a ceremony Tuesday at the courthouse in Hailey. Photo by David N. Seelig

Two brothers have received rewards of $1,500 each and the thanks of Blaine County authorities for their assistance in busting a large marijuana growing operation last month northwest of Carey.

Magic Valley residents Casey and Cary Cramer received certificates of appreciation and rewards of $1,500 each at a ceremony held Tuesday morning in Hailey at the Blaine County Commissioners meeting.

The Casey brothers were hunting in the area on Aug. 31 when they stumbled upon a marijuana farm. They left the area after they reportedly heard shots fired, but later contacted the Blaine County Sheriff's Office about their discovery.

Sheriff's officers, with the assistance of state, federal and other local law enforcement personnel, raided the site on Sept. 4 and confiscated some 2,000 marijuana plants in the county's largest drug bust on record. Except for a few plants kept as evidence, the seized marijuana crop was burned at the Ohio Gulch Transfer Station north of Hailey.

Authorities arrested Eduardo Mariscal-Castellon, 30, and Leobardo Vega, 31, both of Heyburn. They were later indicted by a Blaine County grand jury on felony charges of trafficking in marijuana and failure to affix drug stamps. Neither suspect has yet been tried or convicted of any crime.

The marijuana farm was found on Flat Top Sheep and Cattle Co. land owned by former state Sen. John Peavey. Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jay Davis this week reiterated earlier statements that Peavey had no involvement in the growing operation.

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