APR 09 (ANCHORAGE, Alaska) - On April 3, 2014, an Anchorage jury convicted Loren Kent Dodds, 48, of Palmer, Alaska, of one count of manufacturing marijuana. The jury also returned a verdict forfeiting Dodds' residence to the government because it was used to facilitate his marijuana growing operation.
According to evidence presented at trial, Dodds turned the lower level of his Palmer residence into a sophisticated hydroponic marijuana grow that was equipped with motorized lights and myriad timers, all powered by stolen electricity.
Dodds was convicted of having a marijuana grow in the same residence twice before, in 2008 and 1994. Dodd was still on probation for his 2008 marijuana cultivation and power theft convictions when law enforcement discovered the 2013 grow in the same residence. Dodds' 2013 grow was his largest yet, with over 600 plants which ranged from starter plants to plants that were over seven feet tall. Dodds' third marijuana grow came to the attention of law enforcement after a young child who was living at Dodds' residence asked a relative for a knife so he could help Dodds cut down the "stinky lettuce."
Dodds denied responsibility for the marijuana grow, telling investigators that he lived in a ramshackle motorhome offsite rather than in his more than 3,000 square foot residence located on several acres. Dodds claimed to have rented the residence to a couple whose last name he did not know and whose telephone number he did not have.
Dodds is set for sentencing on June 20, 2014, before U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason. Dodds faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years imprisonment for his repeat offense, and up to a maximum of forty years imprisonment, to be followed by at least ten years of supervised release. Dodds may also be fined up to $5,000,000. Because the jury returned a verdict finding that Dodds used his residence to facilitate a marijuana growing operation, he will forfeit the residence and real property to the government. The jury could not reach a decision on whether Dodds' adjoining property also facilitated his marijuana growing operation.The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Alaska State Troopers, and the State Drug Enforcement Unit Task Force members from both the Wasilla and Palmer Police Departments.