Faribault law enforcement seizes cannabis plants after mayor turns power off in greenhouses

(ABC 6 News) – Faribault County investigators moved fast to preserve evidence after a Winnebago mayor accused of illegally cultivating marijuana allegedly attempted to turn off the power keeping those plants alive.

Winnebago’s 67-year-old former mayor, Scott Robertson, and his 46-year-old son Jacob were accused Feb. 9 of cultivating around 240 plants believed to be marijuana at various addresses.

RELATED: Winnebago mayor, son arrested in Faribault County on marijuana cultivation charges; accused of hundreds of thousands in profits – ABC 6 News – kaaltv.com

The Robertsons were taken into custody Feb. 8 and released on Feb. 9.

Each man faces two counts of 1st-degree cannabis crime–unlawfully cultivates more than 23 cannabis plants; one count of conspiracy to commit 1st-degree cannabis crime–unlawfully cultivates more than 23 cannabis plants; and one count of aiding and abetting 1st-degree cannabis crime–unlawfully cultivates more than 23 cannabis plants.

“‘I’m in a lot of trouble and just need the power off

The Robertsons’ charging documents describe 55 plants found in a former 15/17 Main Street office building registered to Scott Robertson, as well as 185 more plants at two greenhouses on 340th Avenue, near Jacob Robertson’s residence.

The Robertson’s charging documents noted that the 55 plants in the office building were flowering, and field tested positive for cannabis.

The charging documents describe the 185 plants in the greenhouses as “growing” and labeled with “known cannabis” names — but do not state that the plants were mature, or that officers took samples of any flowers, if they were available in early February.

From Scott and Jacob Robertson’s charging documents

Court documents filed this week indicate that law enforcement left the possibly evidential plants to grow — until Scott Robertson turned off the power keeping them alive.

According to search warrants publicly filed Friday, Feb. 23, one week ago, law enforcement received a notification about a photo from a motion-activated camera placed in the greenhouses on 340th Avenue.

The photo appeared “smoky/hazy,” and an officer arrived to find that the temperature had dropped to 50 degrees and the power was out.

The officer placed electric heaters in the building and turned growing lights on to keep the plants from freezing, according to the search warrant.

On Friday, Feb. 17, the officer allegedly learned “the electricity had attempted to be shut off” at the Robertsons’ greenhouses and the 15/17 Main Street building — and the city had shut off the water at 15/17 Main Street.

Furthermore, the search warrant alleged that Scott Robertson had called “numerous times” to shut the power to the buildings off, saying he was “in a lot of trouble and just need(ed) the power off.”

From Faribault County search warrants

That same day, law enforcement allegedly received preliminary test results from plants that had already flowered at the Main Street office building, according to the search warrant.

The test results indicate that the flowers tested at “well above” the 0.3 percent THC concentration allowed for hemp plants.

Records indicate that the Faribault officer seized all of the plants from the properties, as well as a water system “for safekeeping.”

Robertson is still listed as Mayor of Winnebago on the city website, but reports indicate that he resigned after his arrest.