Police Raid Pot Farm, Find Bowe Bergdahl
US soldier charged with desertion not charged in California incident
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2015 9:50 AM CDT
In this file image taken from video, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad Website via AP video, File)
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(Newser) – What a California drug task force probably expected to find when it raided a Mendocino County pot farm: pot. What it probably didn't expect to find: Bowe Bergdahl. The US soldier, charged with desertion after he went missing in Afghanistan and was held by the Taliban for five years, was one of the people present Tuesday when sheriff's deputies rushed the Redwood Valley site and rounded up 181 marijuana plants, the New York Daily News reports. Bergdahl had been staying with "old friends" on the property since Friday while on approved leave from the Army, the Anderson Valley Advertiser reports. He "apparently had no connection to the dope grow," the paper adds, and wasn't charged.

By all accounts, Bergdahl was courteous and cooperative during the raid, with the Mendocino County sheriff telling the Advertiser that the soldier was "above politeness." "I'm not sticking up for the guy at all, but I will say this, he was very polite," the sheriff says, per the Daily News. "He was not resistant at all. He shook everybody's hand. He thanked us all." And even though he wasn't implicated in any crime, Bergdahl's high profile prompted authorities to make calls "all the way up to the Pentagon," which sent an Army major to bring Bergdahl back to his Texas base; he had been scheduled to return Wednesday. Bergdahl is currently awaiting a hearing to see if he'll face a court-martial. (Bergdahl has described his brutal treatment in captivity.)