Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — NEWFANE — Police happened upon an apparent marijuana growing operation over the weekend while investigating an burglary.
Chad C. Regling, 28, 6053 Hillcrest Ave., was charged with unlawfully growing cannabis, and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, early Sunday, after a Niagara County Sheriff's sergeant stopped by Regling's house to ask about a possible burglary suspect and ended up summoning the Drug Task Force to Regling's home.
According to the sheriff's office, Regling answered the door when Sgt. James Hildreth knocked around 10:10 p.m., seeking information about a suspected burglar whose footprints were followed to Hillcrest Avenue from Ide Road. As Hildreth interviewed Regling, he reported smelling a strong odor of marijuana and seeing items used in its cultivation in the residence. Hildreth said he asked Regling and a second male to exit the residence, then he called in his find and a determination was made to send a task force investigator out to the scene.
A search warrant was obtained from Wilson Town Court and deputies seized 44 marijuana plants, and four prescription narcotic pills, from the residence, the sheriff's office said.
Regling was charged in connection with the discoveries and received tickets to appear in Newfane Town Court on April 15.
Deputies were investigating an Ide Road man's complaint of finding an unknown male fleeing his garage when the property owner arrived home about 7:50 p.m. Saturday. Deputies followed footprints in the snow from the residence south to McKee Street, east to Ewings Road and north to a property in the 6100 block of Hillcrest Road. The property was searched with "negative results," the sheriff's office said. Nothing was reported missing from the Ide Road property owner's garage.