BRENTWOOD — A Newmarket man is facing charges that he dismantled a marijuana growing operation at his apartment after getting a whiff that law enforcement might be coming to his door, police said.
Michael Hurteau, 49, of Main Street, was arraigned on five drug charges in 10th Circuit Court, Brentwood Division, following his arrest on Tuesday. He is charged with possession of a controlled drug and falsifying physical evidence for allegedly dismantling and throwing away marijuana plants and growing supplies before a search warrant was executed at his apartment, according to the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies also arrested Michael Hunt, 21, of Epping, for allegedly selling marijuana twice in July to a confidential informant working with the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Drug Task Force.
Investigators said they were led to Hurteau’s marijuana growing operation after obtaining information from a person identified in court records as Hunt’s girlfriend.
Deputies executed a search warrant at Hurteau’s apartment at 70 Main St. and found evidence of the growing operation before they reached his front door.
“A trail of what appeared to be potting soil was in the hallway leading to his apartment,” Sheriff Deputy Sgt. Scott Peltier said in a sworn affidavit. “The odor (of marijuana) got stronger as we got to the apartment door.”
Deputies found three fans running, liquid plant food, hash oil and a marijuana plant stuffed into a garbage bag in the kitchen, according to the sheriff’s affidavit. More marijuana plants were found in a nearby dumpster.
“I compared the garbage bags found in the dumpster with the trash bags in the kitchen, and they were a perfect match,” Peltier said in the affidavit.
Peltier also said that the plants and a grow light had recently been placed in the dumpster. They were dry and sitting on top of other trash that had gotten wet from rain overnight.
Deputies also found a strong odor of marijuana coming from Hurteau’s car, the affidavit said. Hurteau refused to let the police search the vehicle, but later confirmed he had marijuana in the vehicle. He also told police during an interview, “I am going to prison,” Peltier said in the affidavit.
Investigators also looked at Hurteau’s phone during their search of the apartment. They noted that Hurteau got a phone call from the father of Hunt’s girlfriend about an hour before their arrival.
Hurteau is being held on $25,000 cash bail. Hunt is being held on $5,000 cash bail. Both men will be required to have a source-of-funds hearing if they seek lower bail. They are due back in court on July 24 for probable cause hearings.