EAU CLAIRE — An Eau Claire man will spend 18 months on probation in connection with a case where a marijuana grow operation was found in the basement of an Eau Claire residence he shared with his brother.
Caleb T. Smith, 38, 215 W. Polk Ave., pleaded no contest Friday in Eau Claire County Court to three misdemeanor charges: two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of obstructing an officer.
Felony counts of marijuana manufacturing, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, maintaining a drug trafficking place and possession of a firearm by a felon, and misdemeanor counts of possession of a masking agent with intent to use and possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed and considered at sentencing.
As conditions of probation, Judge Michael Schumacher ordered Smith not to have contact with his brother without the consent of his probation officer. He also cannot have contact with known drug dealers or users.
Smith must undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and any other recommended programming or treatment.
Smith’s brother, Tyler T. Smith, 35, now of Woodbury, Minn., was previously sentenced to three years of probation.
According to the criminal complaint:
Police officers were sent to the Smiths’ Polk Avenue residence at 11:40 p.m. Thursday, May 1, 2020, after dispatchers had an open-line 911 call.
Dispatchers could hear a male and female yelling and swearing. They could also hear what sounded like a physical fight in progress. When officers arrived, Caleb Smith tried to flee out the back of the residence.
Officers conducted a protective sweep of the residence. In the basement they found a pill bottle containing a green leafy substance.
An officer then found what appeared to be a small marijuana grow operation. This amounted to a portioned-off room in the corner of the basement.
The windows to the basement had all been blocked with cardboard. Inside the portioned-off area, heat-resistant tarps were hanging from the ceiling to form makeshift walls. Inside this 100-square-foot walled off area was a pot containing four young marijuana plants.
A heat lamp and UV lighting were positioned directly over the plants. A bag of fertilizer was sitting next to the pot.
A shotgun was on a shelf at the end of the basement stairs. Caleb Smith is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms.
Various marijuana-related items were in plain view in other areas of the residence, including a large glass bong and multiple marijuana pipes.
In other areas of the residence authorities found steroids, butane hash oil, a bag containing more than a pound of marijuana, plastic bags containing methamphetamine residue and LSD.
Tyler Smith arrived at the residence during the search, and methamphetamine was found in his pants pocket.