House arrest for bus driver who grew marijuana

A Winnipeg police employee has been cleared of drug charges after her husband owned up to operating a marijuana grow operation in the basement of their family home. Randolph Streilein, 55, was sentenced Tuesday to 15 months house arrest after previously pleading guilty to production of a controlled substance. Charges of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime were stayed.

His wife Deborah Streilein faced the same allegations but a federal prosecutor dropped all charges against her in front of Judge Ted Lismer. Streilein is a civilian data-entry clerk with the Winnipeg Police Service. Randolph Streilein is a Winnipeg Transit bus driver. The husband and wife were arrested in February after an internal police investigation was kick started by an anonymous tip that weed was being grown in the basement of the couple’s Templeton Avenue home.

A search revealed a small grow-op was being run behind a locked door in the basement. Plants worth the equivalent of $31,320 were seized, along with four pounds of harvested dope found in a freezer and just over $1,000 in cash. The couple’s adult son told police that area of the home was his dad’s office — an area considered off-limits to the rest of the household, court heard. In a police interview, Randolph Streilein said the weed was for his personal use and nobody else knew of the grow operation, Crown attorney Kirstin Elgert said.

She described the grow-op as “sophisticated,” noting police also seized venting equipment, hydroponic lights and some drug paraphernalia. Deborah Streilein told investigators she knew her husband used marijuana but didn’t know he was growing it. The man has been attending Narcotics Anonymous and has no prior criminal record, court heard. In addition to an absolute curfew for the next year, Streilein must also perform 75 hours community service work. Lismer allowed a Christmas Day exemption to his house arrest to let him attend church and a family holiday celebration.

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