Elwood couple arrested for growing marijuana in basement

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A couple from Elwood face charges after police say they found a marijuana growing operation in their basement.

Stephen Stookey, 70, and Marilyn Stookey, 69, were arrested after police raided their home in the 11000 block of North 33rd Street Thursday night.

According to investigators, the couple had the tools to grow and process the marijuana right in their basement.

That's what drug task force agents said they found when they got inside their rural Elwood home. Hundreds of marijuana plants were discovered, some of them under high-powered grow lights, some of them already processed and bagged up.

It was an operation big enough, said investigators, that they had to bring in a state police eradication team to help them remove the plants and break down all the growing and processing equipment, all of it inside a modest blue home at the end of a rural street.

"After knowing about it, some of the things that were going on down there, seemed kind of odd," said neighbor Charles Gerhardt. "The dirt piled up around the house, I think that happened last fall. I'm not sure exactly when it was, but I thought it was kind of crazy. Now I know why."

Dirt, neighbors said, always stayed there, blocking any view through the home's basement windows.

Neighbors said the Stookeys used to own a greenhouse that went out of business a few years ago, but said they never expected the couple's new crop could be marijuana.

"I seen what I thought were their grandkids down there with them," said Gerhardt. "I didn't have a clue they were doing anything like that."

According to investigators, the couple is out of jail on $10,000 bail.

Eyewitness News went to knock on the Stookeys' door to see if they would talk, but no one answered.

The Stookeys are facing charges of possession with intent to deal marijuana, possession of marijuana and maintaining a common nuisance.

The Hamilton County Drug Task Force and Madison County Drug Task Force investigated.