Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl poses in front of an American flag in an undated photo. (U.S. Army via Getty Images)

Soldier Bowe Bergdahl at California pot raid, but not linked to illicit grow

REDWOOD VALLEY, Calif. — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier who left his post in Afghanistan and was held by the Taliban for five years, was at a property in California that was raided for pot, though he was not arrested and had no connection to the marijuana grow, sheriff’s officials said Friday.

Bergdahl was visiting friends at the rural home in Redwood Valley when deputies arrived on Tuesday and found nearly 200 pot plants, Mendocino County sheriff’s Capt. Greg Van Patten said.

Bergdahl gave his name and presented identification. He was on authorized leave in the state at the time, said Lt. Col. Jason Shropshire, a spokesman for U.S. Army North.

“He was a perfect gentleman. He was cooperative and polite to the investigators,” Van Patten said.

The Obama administration exchanged five senior Taliban officials held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2014 for Bergdahl. Bergdahl was later charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. He faces up to life in prison if eventually convicted.

The sheriff’s office contacted the Army, which said Bergdahl’s leave was coming to an end and requested that sheriff’s officials help return him to Fort Sam Houston. They drove him to Sonoma County, where he was picked up by Army officials, Van Patten said.

He has since returned to base.

Redwood Valley is about 120 miles north of San Francisco.