Police confiscated pounds of marijuana and scads of firearms after a structure fire revealed an illegal marijuana grow operation on Thursday, Sept. 17.
Two men have been arrested and 142 pounds of marijuana have been confiscated, the Springfield Police said.
The bust happened as the result of a fire on the 700 block of Liberty Street at a two-story building – a business on the bottom, apartment on the top. While fighting the blaze, firefighters found a marijuana grow operation inside the apartment. The resident, Jeffrey Erricolo was on-site and arrested, police said.
When police arrived on the scene they allegedly saw a van that had been backed up to the building’s garage drive off across the parking lot. When police stopped the vehicle, the driver, Jared Via, of Monson, allegedly said he worked for Erricolo.
Police identified a second van allegedly registered to Erricolo that they suspected was also involved in trafficking drugs.
During a warranted search of the apartment and vans, police allegedly found:
– the previously stated 142 pounds of marijuana,
– 10 high capacity magazines,
– 10 more magazines,
– an AR-style ‘ghost’ gun,
– 6 semi-automatic pistols,
– a semi-automatic rifle,
– THC edibles,
– THC oils,
– and THC liquid cartridges
– as well as more than $112,000 in cash, police said.
The charges against Erricolo and Via are:
Jeffrey Erricolo, 37, Springfield: trafficking marijuana (100-200 lbs.), cultivating/manufacturing marijuana, and possession of a Class B drug
Jared Via, 28, of Monson: making a firearm without a serial number (a ghost gun), six counts of possession of a high capacity magazine/feeding device, and possession of a Class C drug.
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