A Worcester man was arrested last week on various drug and weapons charges by members of the Otsego County Sheriff's office after police allegedly found pounds of processed marijuana and numerous shotguns and rifles at his home.
Richard W. Compitello, 47, was arrested Wednesday morning after a search and a joint narcotics investigation by the Sheriff's office criminal investigation division and special agents out of the DEA Albany Division office, with assistance from their Northeast Aviation Resident office, according to police.
The investigation into possible growing of marijuana at Mr. Compitello's property, located on Reservoir Road in the Town of Decatur, began last fall after the Sheriff's office received information of a possible growing operation. The Sheriff's office and the DEA Albany office opened an investigation into the case and were assisted by members of the DEA's Aviation unit with surveillance.
Sheriff's office investigators and Albany DEA special agents interviewed Mr. Compitello at his home last week and subsequently searched the residence, out buildings and property, according to police.
The investigation revealed that Mr. Compitello possessed about six pounds of dried marijuana that was packaged for sale in heat sealed or plastic Zip-Loc baggies inside his home, police said.
They also found about 10 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, a digital electronic scale, a blackjack, a dagger, $1,688 in currency, assorted fireworks, numerous loaded high powered rifles and shotguns and a video surveillance system of his property in his home, police added.
A separate building on the property contained an active hydroponics grow with 17 marijuana plants, over a pound of loose marijuana, a loaded .22-caliber lever action rifle as well as chemicals and other items used in the cultivation and propagation of marijuana, according to police. The value of the marijuana seized was over $35,000.
"The impact of such grows can have national implications, as its product can be trafficked to any location across the country," according to Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr.
"The quantity recovered reveals the true scope and direction of the setup. This really is something that you cannot underestimate."
Mr. Compitello, formerly of Putnam County, was arrested on charges of first-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a felony, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, both misdemeanors, and unlawfully growing of cannabis by an unlicensed person, a misdemeanor, according to police.
He was arraigned in front of Decatur town Justice Vincent Lenci and sent to Otsego County jail in lieu of $2,500 bail to return to town court on February 20, police added.
If convicted, Mr. Compitello faces up to five years in prison on the felony marijuana possession charge, according to police.
District Attorney John Muehl and assistant district attorney Marvin Parshall Jr. are prosecuting the case.