Sibling Fight Leads To Grow Bust


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Police responding to reports of a fight between two brothers at a house on Saddle River Road said they found a lot more than just sibling rivalry.

Ramapo officers discovered more than 50 marijuana plants growing under lamps in the attic and two semiautomatic guns elsewhere in the house at 190 Saddle River Road.

Nicholas Loiola, 27, who lives at the house, was arrested on numerous felony and misdemeanor drug and weapons charges.

Officers were called to the two-story house Monday on a report of a fight, police said yesterday.

Loiola's brother accused him of threatening and menacing him with a baseball bat, police said. The brother didn't live in the house, police said, and has not been charged.

When officers entered the house, they "detected the overpowering odor of marijuana throughout the residence," Sgt. Al Gumbs said yesterday.

The officers then obtained a warrant and searched the house at 8:30 p.m. Monday.

They found more than 50 marijuana plants weighing more than 10 pounds, police said. Police described the find as a "sophisticated marijuana growing operation."

Ramapo police have discovered and dismantled five marijuana-growing operations in the past two years, Detective Sgt. John Lynch said. In August, police found 18 marijuana plants growing in the woods on land once owned by band leader Mitch Miller off Wesley Chapel Road in Wesley Hills.

"It's a profitable business," Lynch said yesterday. "And the state penalties are not that strong."

The amount of marijuana found in the Saddle River Road home indicates that it was being grown to sell, Lynch said.

The marijuana plants were under special lamps that facilitate growth.

"Ten pounds of marijuana is not just for personal use," he said.

While searching the house, the officers also found a 9 mm MAC-11 machine pistol and a 9 mm Glock semiautomatic handgun, police said.

Loiola was charged with four counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, three counts of first-degree criminal possession of marijuana and a single count of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, all felonies.

Loiola also was charged with second-degree menacing and fourth-degree criminal mischief, both misdemeanors, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.

Justice Samuel Colman arraigned Loiola and ordered him held on $40,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing on the felony charges tomorrow in Airmont Village Court.

No one answered the door at the house yesterday, though a Nissan Pathfinder was parked in the driveway.

One neighbor, Hannah Louk, said she saw police cars at the house Monday but didn't know why they were there.

"I am surprised," she said of the marijuana and guns being found.

Louk, who has lived on Saddle River Road for seven years, said she didn't know the residents of the house. She recalls an older couple living there a few years ago.

"I've never seen anyone going in or out of the house," she said.

Newshawk: User - 420 Magazine
Source: The Journal News
Pubdate: 6 December 2006
Copyright: 2006 The Journal News
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