Claremore Daily Progress

July 19, 2013

Marijuana arrest leads to grow house

Mark Friedel
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE —

Claremore Police officers arrested a Tulsa man early Wednesday morning in response to a burglary alarm activated inside the Buy n Bye business at   601 E.  Will Rogers Blvd.
Suspect was identified as 27-year-old Samuel Braden Baker of Tulsa. Police recovered numerous stolen items, which Samuel Baker had used during the burglary,  and approximately three pounds of marijuana from his vehicle. 
Information was obtained that also led to a  growing operation and an additional three pounds of marijuana.
Upon arrival at Buy n Bye, officers located Samuel Baker hiding behind a refrigeration unit, according to the probable cause affidavit issued by the district court. Officer Keith Heskett made the arrest.
Three rolls of dimes, keys to cabinets in the business, a pair of gloves and a hat were also found with Samuel Baker, who was hiding at the time. Affidavit information stated foot prints led to his vehicle where officers observed the keys to the vehicle still in the ignition. 
While processing the vehicle, officers found a large black plastic trash bag which contained more than three pounds of marijuana, said Police Chief Stan Brown.
He said Samuel Baker was going to use the marijuana and whatever he could steal from the store to pay off a drug debt.
Samuel Baker has previous convictions for feloniously pointing a firearm in Tulsa County as well as an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for failure to pay on Tulsa County.
Charges include two felony counts for second degree burglary, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and three misdemeanors for possession of burglary implements and drug paraphernalia as well as a warrant in Tulsa County.
“The three pounds of marijuana found is a huge success,” said Brown. “That’s a significant impact to the drugs availiable in Rogers County.”
Brown said Samuel Baker has been linked to at least one other local business burglary and to the fraudulent use of the business credit card obtained in that burglary.
After Samuel Baker’s arrest, CPD investigators obtained information leading to a “sophisticated” hydroponic marijuana growing house located less than 2,000 feet east from Justus Tiawah School’s South Campus.
Tulsa man William Baker, uncle of previous arrestee Sam Braden Baker, was found in the building and taken into custody. 
Included in the room was more than three pounds of marijuana packed in a 10 gallon trash can, growing trays, a conitinuous water supply and atmospheric controls, said Investigations Sgt. Wayne Stinnett. 
“The way he had the grow trays set up included a huge tub that fed water into three different sets of tube trays. Each of those trays had the ablity to hold eight plants, he could have had close to 50 plants stored at one time,” said Stinnett. “He was growing some quality marijuana.”
Numerous stems, stalks and paraphernalia were also found. Equipment used was valued at nearly $5,000.
“Every 60 days, (Baker) was growing off. If he grows off a minimum of three pounds, that’s a significant impact in this area,” said Brown. 
During the interview,  William Baker admitted to growing the marijuana. but did not admit to selling the marijuana. 
“We’re at a dead end right now. Unless the arrestee tells us who he’s selling to, we’re at a stand still,” said Brown.
Wililam Baker was charged with two felony counts for cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. He also received two misdemeanor charges for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Officers leading to the initial arrest of Samuel Baker were Lt. Matt Wild, Sgt. Jamie Starling, Officer Doug Woodward and Officer Jordon Keesler. Follow-up investigatiors who offered search warrant service leading to the arrest of William Baker were Investigator Sgt. Wayne Stinnett and Investigator Keith Heskett.
“Success in this event was based in part on a cooperative and collaborative labor effort with several members of the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office,” said Brown.