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February 14, 2014
Contact: Public Information Officer
Number: 212-337-2906

Marijuana and Mushrooms Seized in Search, One Arrest Made

FEB 14 (OTSEGO, N.Y.) – Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) James J. Hunt and Otsego County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr. announced yesterday, the arrest of Richard William Compitello, age 47, of 170 Reservoir Road, Worcester, NY following a joint narcotics investigation that was conducted by the DEA Albany Division Office, Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division with assistance from the DEA Northeast Aviation Resident Office. 

This past fall the Sheriff's Office received information of a possible marihuana grow at Compitello's residence located in the Town of Decatur.  The Sheriff's Office and DEA Albany Resident Office opened an investigation into the possible illegal drug activity and were assisted by the DEA'S Aviation Unit with surveillance.

Tuesday morning Sheriff's Office investigators and Albany DEA special agents interviewed Compitello at his residence and subsequently searched his residence, out buildings and property.  Sheriff's Office deputies as well as New York State parole officers from Utica and the DEA Northeast Aviation Resident Office assisted with the search.  Investigation revealed that Compitello, formerly of Putnam County, NY, possessed approximately six pounds of dried marihuana that was packaged for sale in heat sealed or plastic Zip Lock baggies inside of his residence.  Also found in his residence were approximately ten grams of psilocybin mushrooms, a digital electronic scale, a blackjack, a dagger, $1,688 in U.S. currency, assorted fireworks, numerous loaded high powered rifles and shotguns and a video surveillance system of his property.  A separate building on Compitello's property had an active hydroponics grow with 17 marihuana plants, over a pound of loose marihuana, a loaded 22 caliber lever action rifle as well as chemicals and other items used in the cultivation and propagation of marihuana.  The value of the marihuana seized was over $35,000. 

Investigators and DEA special agents arrested Compitello on February 11, 2014.  He was arraigned by Town of Decatur Judge Vincent Lenci and remanded to the OCCF on $2,500 bail returnable next week in the Decatur Town Court.  If convicted Compitello faces up to five years in prison on the felony marihuana possession charge.  District Attorney John M. Muehl and A.D.A. Marvin D. Parshall, Jr are prosecuting the case.

"These arrests were made through concerted state, local and federal law enforcement efforts including DEA's Northeast Aviation Resident Office.  I commend the diligent work of all the law enforcement agencies during this investigation," DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated.

Sheriff Devlin said, "This latest investigation served as an important notice to those who attempt to profit from illegal activity.  Through the excellent work of our Criminal Investigations Division, the Otsego County Sheriff's Office is proud of its ability to dismantle identified illegal marihuana grow operations.  The impact of such grows can have national implications, as its product can be trafficked to any location across the country.  The quantity recovered reveals the true scope and direction of the setup.  This really is something that you can not underestimate.  I'm proud of the efforts and professionalism of our investigators as they continue to aggressively deal with investigating illegal activity.   I'm also extremely proud of the relationship we have forged with our federal partners.  This relationship with DEA has greatly improved our investigative ability and has truly improved the quality of living in Otsego County."

Charges:   Criminal possession of marihuana 1st – felony
CPCS 7th – misdemeanor & CPW 4th - misdemeanor
Unlawfully growing of cannabis by an unlicensed person - misdemeanor   
Person(s):     Richard William Compitello, 47, 170 Reservoir Rd, Worcester, NY
Date of arrest:    February 12, 2013
Court date: T/Decatur Court on 02/20/14 @ 7:00 p.m.



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