State Troopers assigned to District 6, Spencer and District 5, Cherokee made separate arrests involving significant marijuana grow operations over a four-day period.
The seizures occurred near Missouri Valley and Little Sioux, both in Harrison County. Combining the arrests, Troopers seized approximately 122 pounds of marijuana with a street value of more than $180,000.
On Saturday, Sept. 23, while assisting in an investigation following an armed robbery in Omaha, Neb., State Troopers and Harrison County Deputy Sheriffs checked a home in Little Sioux for the suspect of the armed robbery. While at the residence, State Troopers noticed cultivated marijuana plants growing on the property. State Troopers contacted the owner and were given permission to search the property. Seized during the search were numerous plants and equipment used to illegally manufacture marijuana. The marijuana was valued at more than $3500. State Troopers will continue to investigate and felony marijuana manufacturing charges are possible.
On Monday, Sept. 26, a State Trooper stopped a southbound vehicle for speeding on Interstate 29 in Monona County. As the State Trooper talked with the driver, he noticed a strong scent of marijuana coming from the vehicle. When asked about the marijuana smell, the driver gave the State Trooper a marijuana cigarette from his pocket. The driver, Dominick Zappia, 51, of Missouri Valley, was arrested for possession of marijuana. A search of the vehicle following the arrest revealed several individually packaged amounts of marijuana.
Troopers also seized a large empty suitcase they believe had once contained a large quantity of marijuana.