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Marijuana found growing in NL couple’s basement

NORTH LIBERTY– A North Liberty couple has been charged with possession of a controlled substance after law enforcement officers allegedly found marijuana plants in their basement.
On Sept. 16, at approximately 1 p.m., detectives of the multi-jurisdictional Johnson County Drug Task Force knocked on the door of the residence at 140 W. Zeller St. in North Liberty, based on a tip. Occupant Debbie Jean Kennel-Waechter, 53, wife of Kevin Waechter, 56, consented to a search of the premises.
The police report states that before the search, Debbie Waechter gave the officers a marijuana pipe, several small containers of a substance believed to be marijuana, and other drug paraphernalia.
During the search, according to the report, detectives found a room in the basement set up to grow marijuana that contained approximately 120 marijuana plants, chemicals and various growing devices.
The report states that during an interview with defendant Kevin Waechter, he took full responsibility for the growing operation.
The charge to both defendants is violating Iowa Code section 124.401(1)d, possession of 50 kilograms or less of marijuana. If found guilty, it is considered a serious misdemeanor, and a first offense is punishable by a maximum jail term not to exceed one year and a mandatory fine of at least $250 but not more than $1,500.