Winnebago Mayor Scott Robertson and his son have been arrested and charged with growing a total of 240 marijuana plants in greenhouses and at another property in the south-central Minnesota town.
Both were charged with felonies in Faribault County District Court for allegedly cultivating more than 23 cannabis plants. The two remained lodged at the county's jail on Friday.
An agent with the South Central Drug Investigation Unit received an anonymous tip in January 2023 about cannabis plants growing in a greenhouse at in the 18000 block of 340th Avenue in Winnebego, according to the criminal complaint.
But the agent said that before the greenhouse could be inspected the following month, Scott Robertson, 67, and his son Jacob Robertson, 46, emptied it of the plants.
On Wednesday, the agent noticed a "strong" smell of unburnt marijuana near a South Main Street building owned by Scott Robertson, according to the charges. The father and son had previously run a licensed hemp operation, but their hemp license reportedly expired in last December.
Agents and deputies from the Faribault County Sheriff's Office searched both properties on Thursday and found 55 plants at the Main Street building and 185 at the 340th Avenue greenhouses, charges say. Officers also found cannabis seeds.
The labels on the plants at the Main Street location were for seeds and plants with THC concentrations in excess of the 0.3% legal limit for hemp, according to the charges. The labels at the greenhouses were for plants with concentrations at approximately 30%.
Officers found a notebook recording financial transactions as recent as Jan. 8, allegedly showing partner profit splits with shares of $120,000 for a total distribution of $360,000, the complaint says.
Scott Robertson did not immediately respond to a phone message left at his office. Contact information could not be found for Jacob Robertson.
If Scott Robertson is unable to attend Winnebago City Council meetings, a council member can preside as acting mayor, City Administrator Judi Hynes said.