Suspect pleads not guilty in marijuana grow operationPublished 11:03am Friday, September 20, 2013
An Austin man charged after a traffic accident that allegedly led police to a marijuana growing operation says he is not guilty.
William Marvin Boyenga, 52, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Mower County Court for fifth-degree drug sale and fifth-degree drug possession, both felonies.
Police responded to the traffic accident on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at the Eighth Street and 11th Avenue Southwest intersection where a man driving a black truck reportedly failed to stop for a stop sign and collided with a 2013 Hyundai Sonata, driven by a 70-year-old woman. The woman told police she and the other driver both exited their vehicles; however, the man got back in his truck and fled the scene.
After gathering details about the vehicle and driver, police went to Boyenga’s home at 700 13th Ave. SW to investigate. According to the police report, officers found damage to a truck consistent with the accident. However, an officer also noticed the smell of fresh marijuana, according to the court complaint and knew the suspect had a prior drug conviction. Police said Boyenga admitted he was in an accident and went to retrieve his ID but shoved an officer and said they could not enter the home.
After obtaining a search warrant, officers reportedly found boxes and plastic bags containing cultivated marijuana, an operational hydroponic growing system with four plants, cut plants that were drying, fertilizer, a digital scale, a box with seedling marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia. The complaint added the total amount of marijuana was 80.61 ounces.
A pretrial is set for Jan. 3.