Trial pending in felony pot case

SANDPOINT — A Rathdrum man accused of operating an indoor marijuana grow in southern Bonner County is awaiting arraignment in 1st District Court.

Dane Lou Schumacher is charged with two counts of marijuana trafficking. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 1.

Idaho State Police investigators executed a search warrant at 5294 Bandy Road in June and discovered 65 plants and more than nine pounds of dried marijuana, according to court documents.

Schumacher, 60, allegedly confessed to being involved with the operation as a way to supplement the benefits he receives from the Veterans Administration, an affidavit said.

Schumacher was ordered to stand trial following a preliminary hearing in magistrate court on Sept. 19. A state police detective testified finding several indoor grow rooms, high-density lighting rigs and the fruits of the grow.

Detectives used a GPS device as part of their investigation, an aspect of the case which Schumacher’s defense counsel is expected to assail in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The nation’s high court held in January that long-term GPS surveillance of a suspect’s vehicle violates the Fourth Amendment.

Although investigators in the Schumacher matter applied for a search warrant for the tracking device, Schumacher’s attorney, Nicholas Vieth, argued another warrant was necessary in order to trespass and place the device on a vehicle.

Judge Debra Heise declined to rule on the GPS issue at that stage in the proceedings, court records show.

Schumacher is free on $50,000 bail while the case is pending.

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