Vienna PD seizes dump truck of pot plants

VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – Enough marijuana plants to fill the back of a dump truck were taken from a house Tuesday afternoon in Vienna Township.

After a confidential source tipped off police, officers seized 80 to 100 marijuana plants, and a sophisticated growing operation, from the basement of a house at 1292 Karen Oval.

“This is a pretty good amount. This isn’t a one or two plant for personal use type of thing so this is a large amount when you can fill up the back of a dump truck,” Vienna police constable Bob Ludt said.

Thomas Pepe, 37, was booked into the Trumbull County Jail on charges of drug paraphernalia and possession of drug abuse instruments. He is being held on $6,500 bond.

Ohio BCI will analyze the evidence and plants to see how much pot there is and what other charges Pepe might face.

“They give us an exact weight, then he will probably be charged with cultivation,” Ludt said.

Police said Pepe was living in the home’s basement and an elderly woman lived on the first floor. They are not exactly sure of the relationship between the two, possibly family friends or acquaintances, but the woman told Ludt she had no idea there was marijuana growing inside her house. She was very shaken about what happened.

“I don’t believe he is a relative. I believe he was just able, or allowed, to stay in the basement, which was in conjunction with the grow rooms,” Ludt said.

He said police are looking into other persons of interest, and there could be more arrests. Officers didn’t find any packaged drugs or money in the home, but that doesn’t mean Pepe didn’t intend to sell it.

“I would say this is more than personal use, so I would say that this was for possible distribution,” Ludt said.

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