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No bail reduction for suspected grower

Posted: April 25, 2012 - 12:04am

A Juneau District Court judge on Tuesday kept bail at $15,000 for a local man who was arrested after authorities seized 61 marijuana plants from his house Friday.

Scott W. Eberhardt, who was out on bail for a similar case when he was arrested, asked the judge why he couldn’t have a bail reduction.

Sitting with four or five other inmates shackled together, Eberhardt argued he has never missed a court appearance, has strong ties and family in Juneau and is a University of Alaska Southeast student.

“I’m going to leave it as set,” Judge Keith Levy replied.

Bail was set at that amount during Eberhardt’s arraignment over the weekend by a magistrate judge. Assistant public defender Timothy Ayer indicated a bail hearing may be held at a later date.

Eberhardt, 28, faces three drug misconduct charges in the most recent case, according to criminal information filed against him. The first is one count of second-degree drug misconduct for knowingly possessing oxycodone with intent to deliver. That’s a class ‘A’ felony that can carry up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

He is also charged with two counts of fourth-degree drug misconduct for knowingly possessing 25 or more pot plants, and for knowingly keeping a dwelling that is used for keeping or distributing drugs in violation of a felony offense. Both of those are less serious class ‘C’ felonies that can carry up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

According to an affidavit, a United States Postal Inspector intercepted a suspicious Express Mail package at the Mendenhall Post Office in Juneau that was being sent to Eberhardt in the 8500 block of Jennifer Drive in the Mendenhall Valley. A K-9 drug detection dog named “Justice” indicated the presence of drugs in the package, the affidavit states.

After obtaining a search warrant to open the package the next day, the postal inspector discovered 40 blue tablets hidden inside a Godiva chocolate bar. They bore a “V” on one side and “48/12” on the other and were identified as 30 milligram oxycodone hydrochloride tablets, which is commonly known as the prescription painkiller Roxicodone.

The affidavit states the postal inspector affixed the parcel with an electronic alerting device. As five investigators waited near Eberhardt’s apartment, the postal inspector delivered the parcel directly to Eberhardt at his door.

“Within one minute of Eberhardt taking receipt of the parcel, the electronic monitoring device went into alert mode by producing a rapid series of audible tones,” the affidavit states.

Two men were located inside the apartment, one of which was Eberhardt, and they were both placed in handcuffs and read Miranda warnings.

Authorities found a two-stage marijuana growing operation, totaling 61 rooted plants, upstairs in the master bedroom and bathroom, the affidavit states.

Eberhardt identified the room and the plants as belonging to him, according to the affidavit.

The total processed weight of the marijuana was 10 ounces, the document reads.

The parcel was found empty on the bedroom floor with its contents spread out on a TV and inside the room, the affidavit describes. Eberhardt denied knowing anything about what was inside the parcel, saying he was expecting legal paperwork from a law office in California.

Until his arrest, Eberhardt was out on $2,500 bail in a similar case.

He pleaded guilty just last month to misdemeanor drug misconduct after police seized 181 marijuana plants from his residence on North Douglas Highway.

He was scheduled to be sentenced in that case next month in Juneau Superior Court. Court records show that hearing is still scheduled, as of Tuesday evening.

Levy scheduled a preliminary hearing in Juneau District Court for May 1 for the most recent case. That hearing may be vacated if it proceeds to Superior Court.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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