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Frazee man sentenced for growing marijuana plants

     A Frazee man has been sentenced in Becker County District Court on a felony drug possession charge.

     Jeremy Jeff Pihlaja, 35, of 18879 Blauert Road, Frazee, was given a stay of sentence imposition on conditions including completion of 60 days in jail and up to five years of supervised probation, as well as payment of $1,085 in court fines and fees.

     If he successfully completes probation, the felony charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor conviction on his record.

     Pihlaja and Heather Rowan were both charged after law enforcement officers came to the residence they shared on Sept. 21, to investigate a report that marijuana was being grown there.

     Upon questioning, Pihlaja allegedly admitted that he had been growing marijuana at two nearby locations — about 40-50 plants in total — but had removed them due to worries about the weather and possible frost damage.

     A subsequent search of an outbuilding on the property yielded eight gallon-sized plastic bags and two sandwich-sized bags, all containing marijuana buds and plant material.

     Also found at the scene was a large black garbage bag containing a green-colored dugout and some plant material, six sandwich sized-bags with more marijuana buds, and other paraphernalia.