When police officers conduct a drug bust on a large scale, they're left with the task of processing all the drugs as evidence. After a Glasco man was arrested for an operation in our area, Saugerties police are now left to clean up the marijuana mess left behind. YNN's Alexandra Weishaupt reports.
SAUGERTIES, N.Y. -- “This is just the beginning of drug use. A lot of times, for individuals, that leads to greater drug use and much more serious drugs that have much more serious side effects,” said Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra.
Seizing about 70 fully grown marijuana plants from 57-year-old Barry Brice’s property near Pauline Lane, the detective division is now tasked with unloading, trimming and bagging thousands of dollars worth of marijuana at police headquarters.
“We’re getting rid of the stems,” said Detective Sgt. Kenneth Swart of the Saugerties Police Department. “The lab doesn't want the stems. They just want the plant itself, the leaves and buds, that kind of stuff. We’re just taking that stuff off to submit it to the lab.”
Police got the anonymous tip as a result of a complaint that Brice had been shooting deer feasting on his crops. An aviation unit spotted the plants overhead and a search warrant was underway.
“In this particular case, this individual chose criminal activity as a means to making money,” said Sinagra. “Marijuana is one of those drugs that are commonly used by a lot of people, unfortunately, in society and it’s used in every level of society, so there’s a lot of money out there and there’s a lot of money that can be made.”
Police say it was one of several large seizures over the past few years. It’s a crackdown that will continue as they work towards putting an end to the drug trade locally in an effort to make a small dent in this nationwide epidemic.
“The important thing is that we have to make every effort to mitigate the marijuana trade and the drug trade that’s in our country and that’s infiltrated out country because unfortunately its taking us down as a country,” said Sinagra.
As for Brice, he was released on bail. Sinagra says they'll hold the plants as evidence until the criminal case wraps up.