KINGSTON – In what detectives called the largest marijuana bust in their narcotics division's history, Kingston police seized 24 pounds of high-grade marijuana and more than $32,000 from a home in Fairview Township on Friday afternoon.
Detectives Richard Kotchik and Edward Palka said Kingston police were contacted earlier in the day by a detective from the Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, who said it had arrested two men with a large amount of marijuana and believed they had been staying in Luzerne County.
Eric Boehm, 46, of Laurel Lane, Fairview Township, and Anthony Eugene Derosa, 39, of Butler Street, Kingston, were arrested by Philadelphia authorities with 20 pounds of marijuana in an undercover operation, according to Kingston police. Kotchik alleged the men had transported the marijuana, which they intended to sell for $60,000, from Luzerne County to Philadelphia.
Police were able to determine the addresses where both men were staying and searched the Butler Street home as well as – after contacting Fairview Township police – the Laurel Lane home.
Inside a suitcase in the garage of the Laurel Lane home detectives said they found 24 pounds of marijuana wrapped in heat-sealed food saver bags in one-pound quantities. They also seized a safe containing $32,290 – mostly in $100, $50 and $20 bills – plastic wrap and a food saver bag sealer, they said.
Detectives estimated the value of the marijuana, which they said was of high quality and hydroponically grown, at $3,000 per pound if sold in bulk and thousands more if broken down into smaller quantities.
The 44 pounds seized in the two busts could be worth up to $250,000 if sold in small quantities, Kotchik said.
Derosa's aunt consented to a search of the Butler Street home, and Boehm's fiancée consented to a search of the Fairview Township home, so police did not need to obtain search warrants, Kotchik said.
Police also said they found evidence marijuana was stored at both the Kingston and Fairview Township addresses.
It is unlikely Derosa's aunt or Boehm's fiancée will be charged, because they cooperated with police and police do not believe they were complicit in illegal drug sales, Palka said. Police did not release either woman's name.
Kingston police said Boehm and Derosa were charged in Philadelphia with felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver marijuana, criminal conspiracy of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver marijuana and criminal use of a communications facility. Charges in Luzerne County are pending.