A Winamac man was arrested Sunday after Pulaski County deputies reportedly found a marijuana growing operation on his property.
A deputy was checking the area of 625 North and 800 West as he received an anonymous call of suspicious activity in the area. The officer got out of his car at a location where he saw a home ruined by a fire and two outbuildings. He approached a shed and was greeted by a man later identified as Rodger Birnbaum, 57, of Winamac. He had been carrying an electric screw driver and set it down to talk to the officer. The officer reportedly smelled a strong marijuana smell and asked to search the shed. Birnbaum asked the officer why he would do that and the officer explained that he could smell marijuana coming from the shed and he observed Birnbaum acting suspiciously.
Birnbaum reportedly admitted to the officer that there was marijuana in the shed and there were around 100 plants in the building. Another officer arrived on scene and the pair searched the shed where growing lights, a watering system, 101 marijuana plants, and chemicals were found. Officers also found other items inside a residence including marijuana in various stages of preparation and firearms.
All items were confiscated for evidence and Rodger Birnbaum was arrested on a preliminary charge of Dealing Marijuana. The case will be forwarded to the Pulaski County Prosecutor’s Office for formal charges.