Raids on two St. Croix County homes last week yielded what authorities said was about 288 pounds of suspected marijuana.
St. Croix County prosecutors said the drugs were found stashed in nearby homes in the town of Eau Galle while serving search warrants on Wednesday, Feb. 21.
A resident of one home, 25-year-old Tom Lee, was charged with felony marijuana possession with intent to deliver and maintaining a drug residence. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Michael Waterman ordered Lee to post $50,000 during his initial court appearance Thursday.
A criminal complaint filed in the case states the pot was found at 2332 10th Ave. and 2459 20th Ave. Both homes are located outside Baldwin.
According to a criminal complaint:
Members of the St. Croix Valley Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 2332 10th Ave., where an alarm was heard going off as officers approached the home. A video camera also appeared to be mounted near the front door.
Lee came to the door and later allowed officers to have a police dog sniff his vehicle, a white Lexus parked in the driveway. The dog gave an indication that drugs were inside.
Meanwhile, officers reported the smell of raw marijuana coming from inside the home.
The police dog was brought to the basement, where it made a beeline for a chest freezer. The dog then alerted officers to tubs and coolers elsewhere in the basement.
Officers noted the freezer was large enough to hold a human body, so precautions were taken to ensure no one was hiding inside it. Once that was confirmed, the freezer was opened. About 224 pounds of individually bagged one-pound pot packages were found inside.
Officers executed a search warrant later that day at 2459 20th Ave. — about two miles away from the first house.
A search of the 20th Avenue home turned up 35 one-pound packages of pot. Two garbage bags found in the upstairs portion contained 258 empty vacuum-sealed bags that had been cut open. Pieces of tinfoil and coffee grounds were found among the remnants. A loaded 9mm handgun reported stolen in a Wausau burglary was also found.
Authorities said the total seizure resulted in about 288 pounds of pot.
The homeowners — neither of whom were arrested or charged — of both properties are relatives, officers learned. Lee later told authorities he pays rent at the 10th Avenue house to his brother, but that his parents, California residents, own the home.
"Tom claims no affiliation with anyone else in the area," the complaint states.
A preliminary hearing for Lee was set for March 1.