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Marijuana-growing charges land Bristow couple in jail

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By Vince Luecke

BRISTOW - A Perry County couple remained in the Perry County Jail Wednesday after their arrest for allegedly operating a marijuana-growing operation at their home near Bristow.

David M. Irving, 62, and Gretchen V. Irving, 59, of 18719 Apricot Road, face charges of cultivating, possessing and dealing in more than 10 pounds of marijuana. They were arrested Monday night after a weeks-long in-vestigation by a state police marijuana-eradication team and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The growing marijuana was allegedly spotted several weeks ago and was under surveillance by officers. Shortly before 7 p.m. Monday, officers armed with a search warrant went to the couple's home and allegedly located 32 marijuana plants growing outside and found more marijuana drying inside the house.

A total of over 10 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $100,000 was seized, police said.

"This investigation was a cooperative effort between us and the Indiana conservation officers," said Trooper Mark Green, a member of the state-police marijuana-eradication team. "Marijuana (growing) investigations like this take a lot of time and patience, but it's all worth it when we get to arrest the people involved."

David and Gretchen Irving are being held on $135,500 surety or $13,500 cash bails.

Green encourages people to report illegal drug activity to authorities. Troopers maintain a marijuana tipline at (888) 873-1694. A methamphetamine hotline can be reached by calling (800) 453-4756. The Jasper State Police Post's switchboard can be reached at (800) 742-747.

Callers can choose to re-main anonymous.