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Wayne Post
  • Police: Home used for pot growing

  • A village man was charged Monday after police uncovered a marijuana growing operation in the home he was renting in a quiet residential neighborhood.

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  • A village man was charged Monday after police uncovered a marijuana growing operation in the home he was renting in a quiet residential neighborhood.
    Joseph Temple, 20, of 321 Edgett St., Apt. B, was charged with illegally growing cannabis, a class A misdemeanor, Newark police said. An ongoing investigation led officers to the home, where, armed with a search warrant, they allegedly found Temple renting the lower portion of the single family dwelling. Inside the residence, police said they discovered 30 potted marijuana plants, ranging in size from six inches to two feet high, growing under lights.
    “Certainly, given the amount of plants and information gleaned through the investigation, it is safe to say much of what was being grown was being sold in our community,” said Police Chief David Christler.
    But police also discovered the homeowner was renting the home out as apartments without proper zoning. Christler noted that this is now the second time in four months that similar circumstances were discovered during a police investigation — and both instances have involved drugs.
    In October, Larry R. Walrad, 42, was shot in the home he was renting at 608 Silver Hill Road. Walrad told police he was awakened by someone knocking on the door. When he opened the door he found a man pointing a gun at him. He closed the door and attempted to run, but the man fired through the door and shot Walrad in the buttocks, the bullet exiting out of his leg. It was the first shooting in the village in at least six years.
    Police believed the victim in the shooting was targeted. Christler said Walrad later admitted he had been selling drugs out of the home, confirming the shooting was drug related. What’s more, the home Walrad was renting wasn’t zoned for multiple family rental purposes, Christler said.
    “When you live in a residential neighborhood, you don’t expect this kind of thing to happen,” he said of Monday’s drug bust.
    According to zoning law, if a property is zoned for single family, the home can’t be rented to multiple families. However, homeowners can apply for a variance, but they must first meet specific criteria. In any case, homeowners should check with the zoning office prior to renting their home.
    Christler said there are no criminal charges that can be lodged against property owners violating zoning laws, but both cases have been turned over to the code enforcement officer.
    Following Monday’s arrest, Temple was arraigned before Newark Village Justice Michael Miller and released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to reappear in court on Wednesday, March 20.
    This investigation is continuing, and additional charges are pending.

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