BRISTOW marijuana 'big dollar' bust

Saturday, June 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The potential earnings of a broken up marijuana ring are adding up. Investigators say the ring they busted in Bristow Thursday had a street value of more than $2-million. KOTV's Donn Robertson says it all started with a traffic stop.

It took hours for investigators to pull all the plants and items involved in a multi-million dollar marijuana ring out of three nearby homes in a Bristow neighborhood. One home grew the seedlings, another the plants, the growers used the third home to dry the marijuana and bag it. Investigators say a father; his son and their wives lived in two of the homes. Neighbors say they moved in about seven months ago. A neighbor: "I had no idea this was going on. And I'm the next door neighbor. I had no clue what so ever." Police were clued in Thursday afternoon, a few hours after Bristow officer Mark Harmon pulled over Susan Evans for driving erratically. Harmon found a bag of marijuana in her car. She lived in one of the homes, and told him she was delivering it to Tulsa. "You never know what is around the corner when you stop someone. Investigators will take some of the marijuana buds to the OSBI lab for testing, they believe it's a very high grade. Investigator: "These were well fed, very well taken care of plants." Investigators say their finding better grade marijuana because growers are using very elaborate lighting systems.

Tulsa Police says they find about six to ten indoors growing operations a year. They believe the marijuana that was bagged in Bristow and ready for sale in the Tulsa area had a street value of $400,000. The 300 plants they were growing had a potential of making $2-million. Investigators: "We are going to be seizing money, vehicles, any property we feel that has come from drug proceeds, we are going to go after, we are going to hurt 'em." Because grow lights were extensively used, investigators will be look at electric bills, to try to figure out how long this marijuana ring was up and running.

Thursday, Bristow Police arrested Brenda Searcy, her husband Danny Watters and Susan Evans on several complaints, including cultivating and possessing marijuana. They're still looking for Evans husband, Robert Watters. Investigators call him the ringleader.