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N.Y. Marijuana Grower Pleads Guilty, Agrees To Stay Out Of Vermont

Herb Fellow

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GUILDHALL – A New York man caught growing marijuana at a house in Island Pond has been banned from Vermont under a plea agreement that suspended all but 30 days of his 3-to-5-year prison term.

Joseph F. Carbonara, 39, of Long Beach, N.Y., pleaded guilty Thursday to felony possession and felony cultivation of marijuana and agreed, as part of the plea, to a probation condition that bars him from entering Vermont unless he has written permission from his probation officer.

The twist came about as a result of plea talks between defense attorney Corby Gary and Essex County State's Attorney Vincent Illuzzi. "I'm the one who suggested that," said Gary. "I cut a deal for him that was 'get out of Dodge,'" he said Friday.

Carbonara aroused suspicion in Island Pond in August 2006 when residents told police he regularly showed up on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, flashing $100 bills and paying all his bills in cash and then returning to New York on Fridays, according to a police affidavit filed in the case.

Residents said Carbonara kept attack dogs at the house and met visitors with a shotgun in hand.

Police got involved after an unnamed "concerned citizen" said Carbonara approached him about moving five "mother marijuana plants" from inside the house to outside for him, the affidavit said.

More than 20 marijuana plants were found growing at the property, and more than $10,000 worth of processed marijuana was also seized, according to the affidavit.

"He was growing the marijuana in Island Pond, but he was not selling it in Island Pond," said Illuzzi. "The question is how much of a state resource do you spend in a case where it's a venue but not where the drugs were being distributed?"

Gary said Carbonara was using it himself and wasn't selling it.

"There were no records, no sales, no cash, no transactions, nothing," said Gary. "It appears that the young man can smoke a fair amount of pot."

Carbonara, who works as an auto parts delivery driver, is now sober, he said.

Source: The Times Argus
Copyright: 2008, Associated Press
Contact: Associated Press
Website: N.Y. marijuana grower pleads guilty, agrees to stay out of Vermont: Times Argus Online
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