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Task force breaks up marijuana-grow operation, says plants hidden behind false cellar wall

December 19, 2018

A western Nebraska drug task force arrested two Gering men and broken up a marijuana-growing operation in Scotts Bluff County, the Nebraska State Patrol says.

The Western Nebraska Intelligence and Narcotics Group (WING) served a search warrant Tuesday morning on a home outside of Gering, with help from the State Patrol, Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office and the 1057 Military Police Unit.

State Patrol spokesman Cody Thomas said investigators found about 75 marijuana plants hidden behind a false wall in a potato cellar and discovered a butane hash oil-extraction lab, nine firearms and a small amount of methamphetamine in the search.

They arrested Robert Newton, 46, and William Burkhardt, 50, on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, manufacturing hash and possession of a controlled substance.

Thomas said additional charges could be added.

The WING Task Force is made up of investigators from the sheriff’s offices and police departments that cover the 11 counties of the panhandle, and the Nebraska State Patrol.

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