Officials with the Argo Police Department and St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Wednesday that they have charged Chad and Natalie Oswalt, of Argo, with first-degree possession of marijuana, a felony, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.
“It’s just another example of our quality deputies doing a good job,” said Rick Oliver, narcotics investigator with the St. Clair Sheriff’s Department.
The charges stem from a Friday night bust at Oswalts’ home on Pin Oak Lane, which, according to Oliver, began when Deputy Mike Doss responded to a “meet-a-complainant” call there.
“(The call) was in reference to harassment,” Oliver said.
After taking the complaint, Oliver said, Doss detected the odor of “green marijuana.” The deputy asked for and received consent to search the premises, and found a “small amount of marijuana” in the search, and called Oliver, along with Mike Jennings and Misty Bice from the Argo Police Department, to the scene to assist.
The ensuing search turned up “two large cabinets in the basement area, containing 24 plants in one cabinet with grow lights and then, 31 plants in the other,” according to Oliver.
“There were also assorted growing enhancers, one metal cabinet used for drying the marijuana, and also another amount of marijuana in the deep freezer,” Oliver said.
Argo police chief James Downing called the operation “sophisticated.”
“There were all different kinds of plants,” he said. “They had self-contained grow-boxes, and they had put honey in the plants, to make it more sweet when it’s smoked.”
Natalie Oswalt was arrested on the scene, while Chad Oswalt turned himself in later, according to Oliver. The two were formally charged Tuesday.
Court dates for the two were not known at press time.