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Pot-grower handed 5 years

Accomplice has May sentencing


– A man was sentenced to five years in federal prison for his role in a marijuana growing operation.

Jarrod Vroom, 39, pleaded guilty late last year to a single count of a three-count indictment – possessing 100 or more marijuana plants.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Theresa Springmann sentenced Vroom to 60 months in prison, as well as four years on supervised release.

Also indicted in the pot operation was Jason Bridges, 32. Bridges has also pleaded guilty to the same charge and will be sentenced in May, according to U.S. District Court records.

On Sept. 8, after months of investigating by the Indiana State Police, Allen County Drug Task Force and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, officers with the Allen County SWAT team raided Bridges' house in the Lake Everett area.

Officers found a growing operation and an additional 4 pounds of marijuana.

In late September, the pair were indicted by a U.S. District Court grand jury in Fort Wayne, accused in a three-count document of manufacturing and possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute.

Vroom is also charged with felony rape in Allen Superior Court, accused of sexually assaulting a mentally impaired woman. The adult woman, who functions at the mental capacity of a 4-year-old and cannot legally consent to sex, became pregnant from the alleged attack.

Vroom was working on remodeling a house owned by the woman's guardian and is accused of having sex with the woman while the guardian was away from the house to get supplies. The pregnancy came to light months later.

After the woman gave birth to the child, the baby died while in foster care in another state, according to court documents.

The rape charge is pending.