Fayette man challenging big pot bust
UNIONTOWN (AP) — A defense attorney wants a judge to toss evidence of 377 marijuana plants found in his client’s Western Pennsylvania home only after a code inspector saw the drugs and alerted police.
Attorney Patrick Nightingale says his client, 52-year-old Charles Alan Smith, of Uniontown, didn’t legally consent to the search because he agreed only to let the code official search his home for building violations.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports police in Uniontown got a search warrant based on what the code officer saw in April and confiscated not just the 377 plants but another 20 pounds of processed marijuana Fayette County prosecutors say is worth $610,000.
Smith has rejected a plea bargain that included a mandatory five-year sentence. Nightingale says the code inspection was an illegal police “ruse” to search Smith’s home.