Phillip "Buff-Runner" Simmons
Nude man leads police to pot growing operation
Sep 19, 2007 05:17 PM
A man running naked through midtown Tucson lead police to a pot growing operation.
Phillip Simmons, 53, is in police custody facing three felony counts: cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Police say they first found Simmons Tuesday night running around his neighborhood in the nude.
After police caught Simmons, they took him back to his home near Flowing Wells Rd. and Miracle Mile.
There, police say they found drug paraphernalia. After a further search of the home and a second property under Simmons' name a block away, police say they discovered 150 plants, each with a street value of $2,000.
Police say Simmons was running a "sizeable" operation, worth about $250,000. It's more than just an unusual bust for police: they only see a few operations this big each year.
Lynne Oehlerich is one of the suspect's neighbors. "I knew who it was and it just really surprised me."
Oehlerich says this isn't the first time Simmons went for a stroll in the buff. She and other neighbors say the suspect did the same thing the day before.
"That really surprised all of us about that too, so we were wondering if he had some issues."
Police say any kind of drug operation can bring in a criminal element. But here, neighbors say they didn't see any problems.
Instead the saw a friendly neighbor now charged with serious crimes.
"If you needed a helping hand he would always be there. We never have seen any signs of anything ever. He was a very nice man," Oehlerich says.
Simmons is being held in the Pima County Jail.