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Deer Hunter's Unusual Discovery in Local Park Leads to Teen Drug Bust

A man hired by Mendota Heights to bow hunt deer found two people cultivating marijuana in Valley Park.

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A bow hunter hired by Mendota Heights police to thin out the city’s deer herd found two people in Valley Park cultivating marijuana plants that reached eight feet in height.

A 19-year-old from St. Paul and a 17-year-old from Savage were arrested, cited and released for harvesting marijuana around 6:30 p.m. last Thursday, police chief Mike Aschenbrener said.

“We do not have any evidence to indicate that it was their plot or that they cultivated it,” Aschenbrenner said.

The Metro Bowhunters Resource Base have conducted annual deer hunts since 1995 in an effort to control deer populations. On the first day of this year’s hunt, a hunter sitting quietly in a tree stand saw the two teens cultivating marijuana near the edge of a wooded area in Valley Park.

Aschenbrener said marijuana cultivation arrests are fairly common in the Metro area this time of year.

“It is harvest time, whether you’re harvesting corn or beans or marijuana,” he said.

Aschenbrener said that while it looks like a big haul, it was charged as a misdemeanor because there was a relatively small amount of THC since “you don’t get to count the stalks and the branches.”

Aschenbrener said he didn’t know exactly how much marijuana was confiscated since only a small amount was kept and the rest destroyed.

“The whole building would stink if we brought a trunk load of marijuana in here,” he said. “We are not in the business of processing marijuana. In order for us to break down to exactly how much we would have had to do exactly what those young men were doing—clip it and dry it and then weigh it—and for the misdemeanor ticket that’s not going to happen.”

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