2 of 4 suspects charged in marijuana grow burglary
A suspect has been arrested in the burglary of Danish Gardens, a year after the crime almost put the Anchorage marijuana grow out of business.
Darren Olson-Young, 21, is facing multiple felony charges including burglary, theft, and criminal mischief.
Surveillance video from the business just days before Christmas in 2017 shows four people, concealing their identities, breaking into the business and leaving with $150,000 worth of marijuana in a matter of seconds,.
According to charging documents, a former roommate told police Olson-Young had showed him news coverage of the burglary and claimed he was involved. The roommate was able to provide detectives with a recorded phone call in which the person on the other end can be heard describing the sale of the marijuana for $1,000 a pound, and four large glass jars Olson-Young left behind that had once contained what the roommate believes to be the stolen marijuana.
At his arraignment Thursday, Olson-Young asked for a public defender to represent him, saying he's only made about $1,500 during the last calendar year.
"He can afford more than $5,000 bail," Dane Wyrick disagreed.
Wyrick, a cannabis cultivator and the owner of Danish Gardens, who says his business was nearly crippled after the burglary.
Friday, he asked the judge to set a high cash bail.
"He didn't make $1,500 last year, he made $150,000" said Wyrick, adding, "I would really urge the court to set a precedence and make an example out of people that our industry and our city isn't gonna stand for this."
The judge set Olson-Young's bail at a total of $10,000 that must be paid in cash before he can be released, despite a request from a public defender that he be released on an unsecured bail, without paying any money up front.
Outside the courtroom, Wyrick said Olson-Young isn't the suspect he's most interested in. He is convinced the break-in was an inside job.
"We've ended up relieving almost 80 percent of our crew and rehiring because we can't prove who it is, but we know it was someone," Wyrick said. "There's multiple entrances into our building. They were in and out of our building in 64 seconds. They knew exactly where they were going and exactly what they were going for. That information could only be known by an inside source."
Beyond the financial damages, Wyrick says the burglary has changed his company's entire work atmosphere.
"We had to bring on security measures that we never dreamed of having. We're just happy-go-lucky kind of farmers that have been turned into an armed militia now," Wyrick said. "Now we all carry guns, and the next time someone comes into our building, it's not gonna be as pretty as the last time, I can promise you that."
According to charging documents, detectives have collected evidence in the case, including jars believed to have held the stolen marijuana and blood found at the crime scene. They've also collected multiple DNA samples from suspects.
Maliq Green, 22, is also named in the documents and allegedly admitted to being part of the burglary after failing a polygraph. He's facing similar charges, but according to online court records has not yet been arrested.
Anyone with information on the break-in or the suspects can contact APD at 907-786-8900, or reach Anchorage Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP or through its website.
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