A judge Thursday took under advisement motions to disclose the identity of two informants who told authorities that marijuana plants were being grown on property owned by an 80-year-old Garfield County man.
The state is trying to confiscate 80 acres of Bradshaw Bowman's property in the Calf Creek area between Boulder and Escalante because officers found 66 marijuana plants growing there.In addition to the civil case, being heard before 6th District Judge Don V. Tibbs, Bowman is facing criminal felony charges and a legal fight with the Utah State Tax Commission.
The commission wants $30,000 from Bowman because he didn't have a drug stamp, as required by a law passed by the 1989 Utah Legislature.
Defense attorney Marcus Taylor of Richfield argued in court Thursday that Bowman is entitled to the names of the informants who told officers about the marijuana plants. The information was used to obtain a search warrant.
Taylor said he wants to interview the informants for information that will be used in a motion to suppress evidence.
"It would be critical to that motion but not to a trial," said Taylor, who contends that illegal search-and-seizure procedures were used in connection with the arrest of Bowman, who moved in 1977 with his wife, Dorothy, to Southern Utah from Carmel, Calif.
Dorothy Bowman died Aug. 3, 1984, and is buried on the property in question. Bradshaw Bowman worked as a designer, builder, sculptor and painter while living in California.
Following the court session, Taylor said he plans to file a motion to suppress evidence regardless of 6th District Court Judge Don V. Tibbs' decision on release of the informants' names.
"There is a rule of law which some call an `informants' privilege' or `governments' privilege,' but it is not airtight," Taylor said. "It is to protect informants, but names have been disclosed in some cases while not in others."
The criminal trial has been set for June 10 and 11.