No jail for Farmington couple who had more than 100 pot plants, supplies to make methBy KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Corrdespondent
March 20. 2017 3:11PM
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.