Port Charlotte domestic call ends with grow house arrests
RIchard Peeler Laura Baldwin
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Charlotte County deputies responding Monday morning to a domestic threat call found more than they bargained for in Port Charlotte.
51-year-old Laura Lee Baldwin called CCSO saying her boyfriend, 48-year-old Richard Paul Peeler, had threatened to kill her with a knife.
The call came in just after midnight. Baldwin claimed Peeler had pushed her onto a coach and busted her lip before holding a large knife to her throat. Baldwin ran to the neighbors and called for deputies.
When deputies arrived they met Baldwin outside. She let them in the front door and deputies found Peeler in the bedroom reeking of alcohol. They also found marijuana plants in a spare bedroom. At that point narcotics detectives were contacted and a search warrant was obtained.
Narcotics detectives found 13 pot plants growing in five-gallon buckets, along with a complete grow house system that included grow lights, de-humidifier, a commercial air-conditioning unit, and about 30-feet of duct work.
Baldwin told detectives she has lived in the home for about five months. She said she did not know about the marijuana plants grown in her home and only learned about them today. However, detective’s located Baldwin’s cell phone with previous photos of the marijuana grow operation.
Peeler and Baldwin were transported to the Charlotte County Jail and both are charged with Cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana Over 20-Grams, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Peeler was additionally charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (knife) and Aggravated Battery Using a Deadly Weapon. Both remain in jail; Peeler on $50,000 bond, and Baldwin on $8500 bond.