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Marijuana grow operation busted on Bainbridge Island

By RICHARD D. OXLEY
Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer
January 23, 2013 · Updated 12:45 AM
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Two men have been arrested for growing marijuana on Bainbridge Island after a large-scale pot farm was discovered earlier this week.

Eldon Wihau Hamblin, 37, and David Charles Auman, 42, have been charged with the manufacture of marijuana in Kitsap County District Court.

A total of 53 plants were discovered at a residence on North Street, according to court documents. The plants were grown on the first floor of a detached garage that was modified for the operation. Hydroponic supplies and grow lights were stored on a second floor.

Hamblin and Auman were arrested Tuesday, Jan. 22. Both men had keys in their possession to the building that contained the grow operation.

Auman lived in a trailer located next to the building. He told police that Hamblin was responsible for the indoor marijuana garden and that it was already under way when he moved to the residence. He also told police that he knew the name of the individual who delivered the plants for the operation.

Witnesses told Bainbridge detectives that they observed Auman tending to the plants and trimming them.

Hamblin admitted to living at the North Street home and documents showing he was responsible for the property were discovered at the residence. He has since refused to cooperate with detectives and has requested an attorney.

The marijuana operation was discovered after officers were called to the residence for a separate incident Sunday, Jan. 20 that involved a threat with a former roommate.

A man told officers that he lived with Hamblin and his wife, but moved out recently after Hamblin's behavior had "escalated" into violent outbursts.

When the man returned to the North Street property to retrieved his belongings Jan. 20, Hamblin allegedly threatened to kill the man's family in Port Orchard, then grabbed a handgun and drove away in a truck.

"I know what you did, and I know where your family is, and I am going to get them," Hamblin allegedly told the man, according to police reports.

The man then told officers that Hamblin had allegedly threatened to "kill police and be on CNN before they ever got him."

Hamblin is also being charged with felony harassment for the threat.

Before Hamblin was apprehended Tuesday, police discovered that he was a convicted felon known to possess firearms. He also had two active warrants for his arrest for DUI and a domestic violence assault.

The man told police that Hamblin had modified a toy gun to shoot real ammunition, and that it was the gun he took with him before driving off. He said he has seen Hamblin shoot the modified gun in and around the house.

He said that Hamblin previously bragged that he could kill someone and get away with it by burying someone in concrete and fleeing to New Zealand, where he claimed to have dual citizenship.

The man also told police that Hamblin allegedly said he was connected to murders in Arizona.

While police were at the scene investigating the threat, the man told officers that he believed Hamblin and Auman grew marijuana on the property.

He added that he also believed that Auman used methamphetamine, but could not provide proof, however.

The man further told police that Hamblin had physically abused his wife. He said he did not want to report it earlier because Hamblin and the woman have a child together, and she is pregnant.

Police contacted Hamblin's wife and discovered that she had left him that same day.

She denied ever being abused by him, but she said that she recently discovered the marijuana operation and told Hamblin that she was not OK with it.

She said he responded by saying he would "plant something" in her car, or make false child abuse reports against her to gain custody of their child.

Hamblin's wife told police that she believed he would try to harm the police. She said he is paranoid, anti-government and believes police are out to get him. She added that his behavior had changed and gotten worse in the past couple of months.

The woman told police that she knew Hamblin was a convicted felon and wasn't supposed to own a firearm, but also knew that he had a rifle that was given to him as a gift.

 


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