Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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November 14, 2013

Help call led to pot bust in Wilson

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — WILSON — An emergency call turned into a major drug bust as 14 cannabis plants and at least 5 pounds of processed marijuana were seized from a Shadigee Road home.

The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office was informed that a child may have ingested an unknown pain medication at the home this past Saturday. Deputy Jared Ander arrived just before 4 p.m. and reportedly could smell marijuana coming from inside the residence.

The Sheriff’s Office contacted the Niagara County Drug Task Force, which found the marijuana plants. In fact, the search revealed an extensive growing operation, Capt. Scott Lombardo said.

Three rooms used for growing the plants were found in the basement, one under the stairs and two divided by a false wall. The attic of the residence apparently was used as a drying room, where the plants were dried out for smoking. Mason jars containing marijuana were found under homeowner Lon C. Sherrie’s bed, reports indicated.

“He had quite the operation,” Lombardo said.

As a result, Sherrie, age 49, has been charged with: second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class D felony; unlawful growing of cannabis, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a child, all class A misdemeanors; and possession of controlled substances by ultimate users original container, a violation of state public health law.

Police were called to Sherrie’s home by the mother of a 3-year-old child who she’d found holding a medication bottle. Authorities later determined that the child did not ingest any medication, Lombardo said.

Sherrie, who was not home when the emergency call was made, returned to the house after police and first responders arrived. He was taken to the Niagara County Jail on $2,500 bail and is scheduled to appear in Wilson Town Court at a later date.

Investigation is continuing, Lombardo said, and additional charges against Sherrie may be pending. Once the seized marijuana dries out, its weight could be closer to 10 pounds — in which case the marijuana possession charge would be upgraded to a first-degree felony.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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