United States Attorney Glenn T. Suddaby announced Tuesday that Terrence F. Tessarzik, 47, of Middleburgh, was sentenced on Friday, October 12 in U.S. District Court, Utica, by the David N. Hurd, U.S. District Judge, to a term of probation for four years, with 12 months of home confinement and 500 hours of community service, upon his plea of guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance.
At the time of his plea, which was entered on August 10, 2006, the defendant admitted the following:
That on or about October 8, 2003, in Schoharie County, the defendant knowingly and intentionally possessed with intent to distribute marijuana.
On this date, law enforcement officers executed search warrants at property owned by the defendant, including his residence located on Vaughn Hill Road, in the Town of Broome, officials said. Upon execution of the search warrant for the defendant’s Vaughn Hill Road residence (together with the property surrounding the residence, including outbuildings), investigators discovered two hidden grow room areas which were accessed through a door in the basement of the residence. These grow rooms contained marijuana manufacturing materials, including growing lights, fertilizer and storage containers, together with marijuana, including over 100 marijuana plants which were in various stages of growth.
In addition, investigators discovered a buried tractor trailer body adjacent to these grow rooms, which the defendant utilized to store marijuana and U.S. currency.
In total, approximately 220 pounds of marijuana, 124 marijuana plants (which the defendant admitted were intended for distribution) and $55,120 (representing proceeds of the defendant’s marijuana distribution activities) were seized, together with grow lights, scales and other equipment used in the large scale manufacture and processing of marijuana, officials said.
The defendant admitted knowledge and possession of this large quantity of marijuana, telling investigators who were about to search his residence, among other things, that “the house is loaded, you’re gonna see more marijuana than you’ve ever seen in your life,” officials said.
At sentencing, the defendant was also ordered to forfeit the currency seized from him at the time of his arrest, together with one 2002 Yamaha ATV, one 1999 Honda ATV, and one 1990 Wells Cargo Trailer. In addition, the defendant was ordered to forfeit his Vaughn Hill Road residence and real property.
The investigation was conducted by the New York State Police, the Schoharie County District Attorney’s office and the United States Attorney’s office for the Northern District of New York, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration.