Police investigating untended business find sleeping employee, 5 pounds of pot

By Eric Florip, Columbian transportation & environment reporter

Published:

Updated: December 17, 2011, 6:19 PM

 

The search of a seemingly untended Washougal business on Friday instead turned up one sleeping employee and about five pounds of marijuana, police said.

Just after noon Friday, a Washougal police officer was flagged down in front of a store known as Mary Jane’s House of Glass — Precious Paws Dog and Cat Food.

A passer-by reported he’d spent 20 minutes yelling for a store clerk with no answer, and feared something might have happened, police said.

The officer called for additional units, then entered the store to check it out.

Officers eventually found 21-year-old Mario Corona lying on the floor of an office room, apparently asleep, according to police. Another room contained a “large amount” of marijuana strewn about the floor, counter and open garbage bags, police said.

After he awoke, Corona was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana.

Police later re-entered the business with a search warrant and found one space that appeared to be a “processing room” — containing packaging material, a bag-sealing machine, a scale, loose marijuana and stripped marijuana stalks, according to police.

Officers removed close to five pounds of marijuana in all, police said. They also found multiple smoking devices in the building.

Corona was taken to the Clark County Jail, booked on suspicion of one count of felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. Washougal police said additional arrests may follow.