BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County man who told police he “didn’t trust drug dealers and didn’t like pain pills” was arrested this week for growing marijuana after law enforcement allegedly found 16 marijuana plants in his backyard.
Keefe C. Conroy, 44, of Buckhannon, was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 25, for cultivation of marijuana, a felony, and obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.
According to criminal complaints in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Trooper B.S. Stout with the Philippi detachment of the West Virginia State Police, Stout and another officer were working “marijuana eradication detail” when Stout allegedly located about 16 marijuana plants at a residence on the Hackers Creek Road.
Stout saw a man, later identified as Conroy, standing on the front porch of the residence and ordered him to come off the porch, but instead Conroy allegedly went into the house and stepped behind a curtain, the report says. Police then ordered Conroy to come out, and he complied but began “being belligerent and aggressive … stating that, ‘who cares about someone growing plants?’,” Stout wrote in the complaint.
When police asked Conroy whose plants they were, he allegedly replied, “They’re mine, who cares?” the report says. Then, when Stout attempted to detain Conroy, Conroy allegedly “tried to evade [law enforcement officers] and walk[ed] towards an assault rifle” officers had reportedly seen behind the house. Stout again tried to detain Conroy, and when Conroy allegedly “became aggressive,” Stout took him to the ground, placing him under arrest.
Conroy told law enforcement that he grew that plants because he “didn’t trust drug dealers and didn’t like pain pills,” the file states. In total, officers allegedly found 16 potted marijuana plants in the yard and seven jars of a green, leafy substance consistent with the appearance of marijuana in a bedroom.
Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder set bail at $40,000 surety/personal recognizance, and as of Thursday, Conroy was no longer listed on the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority website.
The penalty for a conviction of cultivation of marijuana is confinement for one to five years in the state penitentiary, a fine of up to $15,000 or both, while the penalty for a conviction of obstructing an officer is a fine ranging between $50 and $500, imprisonment for up to one year in jail or both.