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Under a plea deal with the state, this Farmington couple will not receive jail time for manufacturing meth and growing marijuana. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)

No jail for Farmington couple who had more than 100 pot plants, supplies to make meth


DOVER - A Farmington couple whose home burned to the ground two weeks after police seized pot plants and evidence of an inactive meth lab will serve no jail time under a plea deal reached with the state.

Daniel Helm, 45, and Christy Olden, 44, appeared Monday morning in Strafford County Superior Court to be sentenced to 12 months in jail, all of which was suspended for three years. Helm and Olden also were ordered to undergo drug and alcohol counseling, according to prosecutor Keith Blair.

Blair said there were more than 100 marijuana plants inside 294 Meaderboro Road when the home was searched July 9, 2015. The couple had been the subject of a weeks-long investigation by Strafford County Drug Task Force, state and local police.

Police found a variety of household chemicals used to make meth, plans and paraphernalia inside the home Helm and Olden shared with an 11-year-old child, who has since been placed in the custody of his father.

On July 22, 2015, a three-alarm fire completely destroyed the Meaderboro Road home, causing so much damage investigators were unable to determine what started it.

Since then, the couple has been fighting drug manufacturing charges. There was a hearing on a motion to suppress evidence last week.

“This is not randomly out of nowhere,” defense attorney Kimberly Shoen told judge Mark Howard about the agreement with the state as she represented Olden during the sentencing hearing. “We have actively pursued defenses.”

Under the plea agreement, Olden admitted to having control of a residence where illegal substances were kept and that she knew there was a quantity of marijuana in the house.

Helm admitted to possession of marijuana and having control of a residence where illegal drugs were being held. Blair said Helm also knew about the materials used to manufacture meth.

Blair said neither Olden nor Helm will be placed on probation.


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david taylor said Monday, March 20, 2017 at 4:40 pm

Does anyone go to jail or serve time in NH anymore?

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Greg Barrett said Monday, March 20, 2017 at 4:47 pm

Maybe the more of these stories that are published will convince all of the public what a waste of time and taxpayer money it is to expend police manpower, arrests, attorneys fees, judges and court costs and sometimes incarcerations. Legalize, regulate and tax pot and use proceeds to educate and treat those who use more harmful drugs.

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maureen millett said Monday, March 20, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Meth Mama lost her kid. What a dumb a s s.

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PAUL LUNDWALL said Monday, March 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Greg Barrett for once I agree with you! What a waste of money and resources spent on programs like Operation Granite Hammer. Just a fancy name for a program to spend money and make jobs. I could see this as being a great program BUT when you do not punish people for crimes they will continue to do so. There is a lot of money to be had by both dealers and law enforcement. We need a justice system that takes this drug problem seriously! All NH is doing to fight the drug problem is nothing more than a catch and release program.

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Matt Lulling said Monday, March 20, 2017 at 7:47 pm

The stupidity of arresting people over a mildly intoxicating weed continues.

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Gregory Wallace said Monday, March 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm

So these people are also either manufacturing meth or are planning on doing so and YOU ABOVE are good with this???! Marijuana and hard drugs go hand in hand.

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maureen millett said Monday, March 20, 2017 at 8:52 pm

It's Welfare in disguise for all these Loser druggies.

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Valerie MacInnis said Monday, March 20, 2017 at 11:03 pm

These two should be in Ripley's Believe it or Not. They both look like 100 miles of bad road. 100 marijuana plants, manufacturing meth, burn their house to the ground, their kid is taken away from them. They go to court, admit guilt and there's ?NO? consequence?? What am I missing??

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dennis buckley said Monday, March 20, 2017 at 11:08 pm

How is it possible neither of them get probation?....OH.... I forgot....Judges and lawyers drink together...

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Richard Stoehrer said Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 6:56 am

METH. they were making METH. even if you want to ignore the 100 pot plants, they were making (and from the looks of things partaking) methamphetamines....and some of you think "eh'??really? addictive, destructive and cheap and your response is "eh"?no, these 2 reprobates belong in jail. from the looks of things it'll be the most structure, best food and clothes they've had in awhile.

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Steve Johnson said Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 7:21 am

The good news: Look at them. Does anyone believe that they won't get caught with drugs in their systems soon, and get sent up for the full three?

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CARLETON MARSHALL said Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 7:31 am

That're back on welfare and how long do you suppose it will be before they're back in business? The police keep catching them and the courts keep letting them go. People are right when they say it is a waste of taxpayer money to keep doing this. The politicians keep this drug sympathy going, but of course, they also live off taxpayer money.

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Stephen Grey said Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 8:46 am

GOOD!

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Dave Bigelow said Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 9:51 am

Why did they even bother to waste money on a trial if they weren't even going to slap them on the wrist.

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Stephen Grey said Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 11:31 am

Legalize marijuana and decriminalize all other drugs. Cripple the lucrative and violent black market by creating legal pathways for addicts to maintain their addiction until they're ready to quit. Follow Portugal's example because the war on drugs isn't working!

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Lynn Morse said Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Wow - words escape me. In case anyone cares why I don't indulge in drugs (obviously I can get away with it), it's because I don't want to look like this at 70, let alone their current ages. What is the judicial system even here for? With all the money I have saved the taxpayers by living my life within the law, I am requesting that we spend some of that money in the schools. Pick one, I don't care which one.

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Sarah Lee said Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Ugh... the way people dress when they go to court these days disgusts me. How about a shower and a shave for these two? They look like the stink. And really, no jail time and no probation? Truthfully, it's only a matter of time until they get caught again.

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Stephen Grey said Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 9:31 am

Sarah you sound like a very judgmental person. I'm surprised you didn't attack me for my comment so I guess that's a good thing.

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