May 4—AUGUSTA — A duplex fire in the town of Bridge Creek led to the discovery of a significant marijuana growing operation, authorities say.
Donnie E. Plamp, S11635 Warner Road, Augusta, was charged this week in Eau Claire County Court with felony counts of marijuana manufacturing, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and maintaining a drug trafficking place, and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Plamp is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on June 10.
According to the criminal complaint:
An Eau Claire County sheriff's deputy went to a fire scene in the town of Bridge Creek on April 23 because firefighters had located drugs inside the residence. The fire inspector told the deputy there were two large marijuana plants in plain view in the living room in one half of the duplex.
After they broke down a door to continue to fight the fire, firefighters encountered several more marijuana plants in the next room.
Plamp confirmed with the deputy that he is the sole owner of his side of the duplex and he lives alone. He admitted having two marijuana plants but said the drug was for his personal use.
Authorities found a total of six marijuana plants inside the residence and a paper bag that contained a large amount of marijuana leaves and debris.
In Plamp's bedroom, authorities found a bubble pipe that contained residue that later field-tested positive for methamphetamine. Plamp then showed a deputy where he grew the marijuana plants. The deputy observed six green plant pots that did not have any plants growing in them.
The marijuana plants and bag of marijuana debris weighed more than four pounds.
If convicted of the three felony charges, Plamp could be sentenced to up to nine years in prison.