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November 19, 2012

Pittsfield woman arrested on felony marijuana charge

Street value estimated at more than $30,000

A 55-year-old Pittsfield woman is facing a felony marijuana-growing charge two months after State Police seized dozens of pot plants being cultivated at her home on Burski Road.

State Police said they found lamps, ballasts and other gear used to farm marijuana indoors --  as well as 44 pot plants in various stages of growth inside and outside the house -- when troopers noticed the illicit plants on Sept. 5 while they were conducting an unrelated investigation.

Lt. Patrick Garey of the Binghamton-based Community Narcotics Enforcement Team said the seized marijuana would retail on the streets for more than $30,000.

Troopers were looking to question an individual not involved in the growing operation when one of them saw the plants growing, Garey said.

Pickens was charged with first-degree criminal possession of marijuana -- a Class C felony.

Troopers, according to a neighbor who asked not to be named, pulled so much marijuana out of the house that it filled the back of a pickup truck.

Garey said police waited to charge Pickens because the marijuana had to dry out in order to determine its weight once the water contents of the plants evaporated.

The neighbor said even before numerous police vehicles converged on the house in September she suspected drug dealing was taking place there. The neighbor said strangers would often stop there and stay for a very short time.

The neighbor praised State Police for the bust. "The more they get off the streets, the better off we are," said the neighbor,. "I'm ecstatic that they arrested her."

Garey said Pickens is being held for lack of $2,500 bail at Otsego County Correctional Facility after she was arraigned Friday before Pittsfield Town Justice William Post.


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