FAIRFIELD — A Silliman Street man was charged with operating a drug factory after someone tipped off police to pot plants growing in his backyard.
Douglas Mercurio, 67, turned himself at police headquarters Saturday on the arrest warrant, which police secured after a search warrant was executed on Sept. 21.
According to police, they received a tip that Mercurio was growing pot in his backyard and that there was a strong marijuana odor coming from the yard. Officers went to the address and said they could see the plants in plain view, and got the search warrant.
Mercurio was home when police conducted the search, which yielded 40 marijuana plants growing outside, 15 pounds of processed pot, seeds, scales, packaging materials, cannabis oil, vaping pens, $20,567 in cash and six guns. The guns were apparently legally owned and registered.
In a desk, police found oxycodone, with the pills broken up, and a large amount of cash. The oxycodone was from a valid prescription belonging to Mercurio’s girlfriend.
According to the report, Mercurio said he only grew the pot for his sick girlfriend and only sold about one ounce a week to friends. Some of the money found with the oxycodone came from drug sales, Mercurio allegedly told officers, but he didn’t sell the narcotics for monetary gain.
He was charged with illegal cultivation of marijuana, sale of hallucinogen, operation of a drug factory and possession of narcotics with intent to sell.
Mercurio was released after posting $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Bridgeport on Nov. 9.