SELIGMAN - The multi-agency Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking task force on Tuesday, Aug. 18, arrested two Dewey residents who were allegedly running an illegal marijuana growing operation in Seligman and selling marijuana as well as hashish, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said.
Mark Coldiron, 52, and his girlfriend, Jennifer Baeta, 39, were under investigation by detectives since June, when Coldiron was seen selling a quarter-pound of marijuana in a gas station parking lot, D'Evelyn said.
Later, detectives saw him selling hashish in another parking lot, and then two more deals were made "over recent days in the Prescott Valley area," D'Evelyn said, noting that three of the four sales were made within 1,000 feet of a school and that Baeta was with Coldiron each time.
PANT detectives obtained a search warrant for the couple's home in the 1400 block of S. Dewey Road, and in the house, found two handguns, drug paraphernalia and "useable amounts of marijuana and hash," D"Evelyn said.
They arrested Coldiron and Baeta, turning her three children, who are 17, 13, and 11 over to the state Department of Child Services.
The investigators also learned the Coldiron was running the growing operation at two properties in the 27000 block of W. El Oro Drive in Seligman.
"Even prior to Coldiron's arrest and admitted connection to the marijuana grow in Seligman detectives had connected him to this operation," D'Evelyn said.
"Coldiron claimed his medical marijuana cultivation operation was legal based on a certificate from the Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS)," D'Evelyn said. "Detectives confirmed Coldiron was not an owner or resident of the Seligman properties and the drug sales documented earlier involving non-card medical marijuana card holders in no way complied with DHS rules."
Property records for one of the Seligman properties shows Baeta, who has no legal standing to cultivate marijuana, as an owner. The other property, D'Evelyn said, is associated with an out-of-state owner, who is still under investigation.
Coldiron and Baeta were charged with multiple counts of possession of marijuana for sale, production or transportation of marijuana for sale, possession, sales or manufacturing of a narcotic drug, and possession or use of a drug near a school.
They've both been released on bond.
D'Evelyn said additional charges are possible.