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2 arrested in Wiota for drugs
Cops serving warrant discover pot grow

DARLINGTON — Lafayette County Sheriff’s deputies got something unexpected while serving a search warrant last Tuesday — they discovered a marijuana growing operation that led to the arrest and felony charges against a pair of rural Darlington residents.

“As part of an ongoing, unrelated investigation, on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at 1544 hours (3:44 p.m.), Detectives and Deputies along with the assistance of the Darlington Police Department, executed a search warrant at 9440 Pecatonica Road, Wiota Township, in Lafayette County, Wisconsin,” said a statement from Sheriff Reg Gill.

The initial search warrant for the house, he said, was related to a case involving a juvenile; thus he declined to provide any additional details on that case.

“In the process of conducting the search warrant, a marijuana growing operation was discovered. Cultivated and processed marijuana as well as drug paraphernalia were located at the residence as well as the surrounding outbuilding,” Gill said in the statement. “Numerous firearms were also discovered at the residence and removed due to firearms being easily accessible to children.” 

Those living there — and alleged to be responsible for the marijuana grow — were both taken into custody. The pair, according to Gill, are Allen L. Taylor, 40, and Patricia E. Taylor, 39. 

Following their arrest Tuesday, they were taken to Lafayette County Jail awaiting an initial court appearance Thursday, June 20 on charges of Possession of Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) with intent to deliver and Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place, officials said. Bond for the pair was set at $5,000 each before Circuit Court Judge Faun M. Phillipson.

Gill said he did not have specific details on the size of the operation, but he indicated it was not a large industrial grow, such as those they have uncovered in the past. Still, he said, there were enough plants there for them to sell weed to the public.

“I asked my detectives and they said ‘no, they are not just growing it for personal use,’” said Gill.

In addition to the marijuana related charges, both Taylors face misdemeanor charges of neglecting a child/use of a dangerous weapon, according to court records.

The investigation into the case is ongoing, Gill added. Both defendants are scheduled for preliminary hearings at 11 a.m. on June 28.