FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - A drug task force arrested a couple accused of
running a $1 million-a-year marijuana growing operation.
Rex Gordon Braley, 46, and Raeanne Tuell, 43, were each charged with
cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale,
possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, money
laundering, criminal impersonation, forgery and possession of a
firearm during the commission of a felony.
Agents arrested the pair following a two-month investigation. They
also seized more than 50 pounds of marijuana with a street value of
more than $200,000, and 63 plants being grown hydroponically in two
bedrooms in their home.
The plants would have had a 1-pound yield each four times a year,
said Sgt. Randy Weems of the Metro anti-narcotics task force.
Investigators found an operation so sophisticated, it could have
produced even more in the future, authorities said.
"We seized enough equipment to set up a grow three times the size,"
He said the investigation began with an anonymous tip.
A federal fingerprint search also revealed the couple were federal
fugitives who were indicted in 1992 in Oregon for growing marijuana
and money laundering. The couple had fled and assumed false
identities, Weems said.
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Braley and Tuell are being held without bond on the federal charges
in the Coconino County Jail.