Three men charged with growing marijuana on U.S. Forest Service land near Cascade Springs were scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court for Utah in Salt Lake City Thursday morning for a detention hearing.
The men are Christopher E. Behm, 29; Stephen Behm, 30; and Chris R. D'Angelo, 26, all of Draper. They were arraigned Wednesday on charges of cultivation of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and using and carrying a firearm during drug trafficking.The maximum penalty for cultivation of a controlled substance is 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. The firearm charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The Wasatch County Sheriff's Department and enforcement officers for the Uinta National Forest Service arrested the men Sunday following an 18-month investigation. Officers of the two agencies reported they observed the suspects tending a plot of 26 marijuana plants in the Little Deer Creek drainage near Cascade Springs.
A helicopter sweep of the area revealed a second plot of 98 plants a short distance from the first site. The plants, which were removed from the sites Monday, were 6 to 7 feet tall. Each plant yields about one kilo of marijuana.
Following Thursday's detention hearing, the men are scheduled to appear in court again a week later when U.S. Magistrate Calvin Gould is to decide whether to convene a preliminary hearing or a grand jury hearing.