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Two charged in pot bust

Alert crew members from Hood River County Forestry found two marijuana grows near Old Dalles Road, east of Hood River. Two people were arrested without incident Thursday on drug charges, and Mid-Columbia Interagency Task Force confiscated 65 plants and related evidence on Friday.

Lee John Jenkins, 59, owner of Panorama Lodge on Old The Dalles Road, and his domestic partner, Linda Kremin, 55, were charged Friday with one charge each of possession of a controlled substance, and released. They are both scheduled to appear in Hood River County Circuit Court on Sept. 15.

The plants were found in two plots about 100 yards apart, on county forest land near the gravel pit on Old The Dalles Road, approximately 1.5 miles from Eastside Road, detectives said. Panorama Lodge is located less than a mile from the suspected grow sites.

A forestry crew discovered the mature plants, valued at about $90,000, while spraying in the area about three weeks ago. MINT detectives started an investigation that included ground surveillance, and apprehended Jenkins Thursday at about 3 p.m. Friday.

Kremin was arrested near the grow a short time later. Detectives said Jenkins was visiting the site, taking care of the plants when he was caught.

“You want to do more than just pull up plants,” said one MINT detective. “Hopefully you can catch the suspects, too.”

MINT detectives and deputies from Hood River and Wasco counties and an officer from City of The Dalles brought a search warrant to Jenkins’ and Kremin’s residence, on the same property as Panorama Lodge, and allegedly found evidence “consistent with what was found at the grow sites.” detectives said.

MINT also uprooted marijuana 169 plants on Aug. 4 near Booth Hill Road near Highway 35. A vineyard worker discovered the plants after finding the grapes’ irrigation line had been tapped.

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