Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Alex Cabrero ReportingThe Taylorsville police department is still relatively new, but they still can make big drug busts. In fact, they made one big enough to get some serious attention--some 220 pounds of marijuana, worth more than a half-million dollars. And it was all found, because of an alert neighbor.
Bruce Smith: “It’s a quiet neighborhood, good people, and you couldn’t ask for anything more.”
It certainly doesn't look like a drug neighborhood. Then again, Bruce Smith now knows drugs can be anywhere.
Bruce Smith: "Some shady individuals targeted this neighborhood thinking they could get away with it, and we didn't let them get away with it."
Now Damon Shaffer and Jason McKim are in jail.
Ralph Putscher: “I had no idea what was in that house.”
Thanks go to Ralph Putscher forseeing something suspicious at the abandoned house next to his and calling Taylorsville police.
Ralph Putscher: “I never expected it to be what it was. It was the biggest shock to me.”
Martin Berta, Taylorsville Police Dept.: “I really had to make sure my partner was seeing the same thing I was seeing.”
Officer Martin Berta was shocked too. Finding 220 pounds of packaged marijuana kind of has that affect.
Martin Berta: “There’s someone upset out there.”
But not in this neighborhood. Residents here have a history of watching out for each other. There are plenty of children around so if something just doesn't look right it's really easy to do what Putscher did.
Ralph Putscher: “I just called the sheriffs and said, heck with it, I’m not putting up with nothing.”
Shaffer and McKim are now in jail, charged with possession of a controlled substance. Police think they used the house as a marijuana packaging base, it was grown somewhere else.
This is also an excellent example of how neighbors being alert can keep their neighborhoods drug free.