The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 1, 2012

Missing teen discovered at pot-filled party

GENEVA —  Officers on the hunt for a runaway teenager girl found more than they were looking for Sunday morning, 40 potted marijuana plants growing in the closet of an Elm Street basement.

Four adults and four juveniles were found in various stages of intoxication from alcohol and marijuana, Officer Roger Wilt and Sgt. Joseph Webb reported — some of the teens so intoxicated they could not be tested for alcohol content.

The officers approached the residence at 12:55 a.m. and saw the missing girl through the livingroom window. Wilt saw a young man passed out in the front room, his face covered in writing.

Wilt said he went to the front door and Webb to the rear entrance.

“No one came to the door, but we could hear people running around inside the house,” he said.

Three suspects, including Brandon Murphy, 19, ran to the back door, only to find Webb waiting for them.

“At that time, someone dropped a marijuana pipe as they tried to get out of the door,” Wilt said.

Inside the house, Wilt said he found Dustin Raleigh, 19, and Alexander Johnson, 27, unconscious on a couch.

“There was thick smoke inside the residence, which smelled of marijuana,” Wilt said. “On the table, there were bottles upon bottles of alcoholic beverages, some empty and some full.”

Wilt said an ashtray on a table contained several cut open cigar wrappers with the tobacco removed.

The officers began locating the hiding adults and juveniles inside the house one at a time and finding a marijuana bong and several shotgun rounds in a nearby closet.The missing girl was found hiding behind a bedroom door.

In the basement, the officers walked around old electronics equipment and video game systems to investigate a bright light coming from a closet. Inside, they found 40 potted plants.

“We also discovered dead vegetation that appeared to be old marijuana stalks,” Wilt said.

Suspect Donna Josett, 36, told the officers the plants were tomatoes, the police report shows.

Upstairs, the officers found an open bedroom window, which had been closed when officers first swept the house, Wilt said.

A check of the room uncovered a motorcycle jacket that said “Satan’s Syndicate,” Hell’s Angels paraphernalia and an eyeglass case stuffed with an undetermined amount of cash, Wilt said.

Josett pleaded not guilty Monday to furnishing liquor to an underage person, Western County Court records show. As a condition of her release, Josett is not to have any contact with one of the juvenile suspects in the case, court records show.

Murphy and Raleigh were cited with obstruction of justice; a 16-year-old was too intoxicated to test for drinking. He was cited with prohibitions, being unruly and curfew, police reports show. Two 13-year-olds were cited with being unruly, curfew and obstruction; and the 15-year-old was cited with being unruly, curfew, obstruction and the possession of tobacco products, police reports show.

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