Stella man gets 5 years probation after bust that nets 1,692 marijuana plants

Updated June 27, 2014: A Newton County, Missouri man won’t get any jail time for what investigators say was one of the biggest indoor marijuana growing operations in the county’s history. John Postma, 52, has been sentenced to five years supervised probation.

He was arrested in December after investigators found nearly 1,700 marijuana plants and the equipment needed to grow them inside a home in Stella, Missouri. That equipment included grow lights,ventilation systems and electronic timers.


Updated December 18, 2013 at 3:05 PM: Jon K. Postma, 52 of rural Stella, Missouri, has been charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, producing a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute.

Authorities recovered 1,692 marijuana plants in a search of Postma’s home.

Postma had a $20,000 bond and has bonded out.

Updated December 17, 2013 at 8:42 PM by Kelly Reid: Police uncover what they says is a large marijuana bust in Southwest Missouri, leading to the arrest of a 52-year-old man.

Investigators served a warrant to a man living in a rural home in the town of Stella, located in Newton County after he was suspected of cultivating marijuana.

“We recovered 1,692 marijuana plants, growing inside the house in different stages of development.” says Newton County Chief Deputy, Chris Jennings.

An individual’s tip lead to the drug activity taking place inside the home, located off Highway D.

“We started doing our research, looking at electric bills and what not. And before long we had enough to get a search warrant.” Jennings says.

When crews arrived at the secluded home about a half mile a hill, investigators found what they say they found inside the basement thousands of plants along with growing lights, ventilation systems and electronic timers…a project that could rake in several thousands of dollars.

“Marijuana around here varies quite a bit, from a couple hundred to maybe even $3,000 a pound, this stuff here is probably anywhere from $800 to $1,000 a pound.” says Jennings.

A 61 year old Stella Missouri man was taken into custody. Jennings tells us it appears to be a solo operation, but others may have assisted in the growing process, which is something he says takes time to plan out.

“We’ve had more sophisticated operations thru the growing systems and ventilation systems, but for the amount of plants this is probably one of the bigger ones we’ve had in a long time.” he says.

The suspect is expected to be formally charged by Wednesday morning.

Posted December 17, 2013 at 3:04 PM: A 52 year old man is in custody after Newton County Sheriff’s Deputies located a large indoor marijuana growing operation in his Stella, Missouri home.

1,692 marijuana plants and equipment were seized, including grow lights, ventilation systems and electronic timers.

Charges have yet to be filed.