Police find marijuana-growing operation in South Haven garage
BY ERIN GUERRA Post-Tribune correspondent February 10, 2014 5:52PM
Thomas Risk, 40, is accused of growing marijuana in his garage. | Provided
Updated: February 10, 2014 8:08PM
SOUTH HAVEN — While checking on the welfare of a man who reportedly threatened to kill himself, officers found a marijuana-growing operation — and 258.5 grams of dried marijuana — in his garage, police said.
Police arrested Thomas Risk, 40, on three felony charges — possession of marijuana with the purpose of cultivating, dealing marijuana and maintaining a common nuisance — at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday at his home, in the 600 block of McCool Road.
A probable cause affidavit outlined this series of events:
No one answered the door when police knocked and all of the windows were covered by curtains, but one set of footprints in the snow led from the house to the side door of an unattached garage, which had been barricaded on the inside with a snowblower. In the darkened garage, they saw light coming from a ventilation duct to a makeshift room in a corner. The light went out when police ordered the room’s occupant to come out, according to the police report.
In the corner room, police said, they found Risk laying on a mattress, allegedly pretending to be asleep. They also allegedly saw a number of black, dirt-filled plastic flowerpots under fluorescent lights, and another flowerpot containing a large quantity of dried marijuana leaves.
Risk eventually admitted to threatening to kill himself and his wife, and to burn their house down. He insisted he said it to upset his wife but he never intended to follow through. He also said he was in the garage just to hide from his wife, and that the marijuana belongs to a friend who happens to live there, even though he doesn’t know his name.