Police: Children removed from filthy house where they learned to grow pot

February 22, 2013

CHARLEROI – Police say three children have been removed from a filthy Charleroi house where their father taught them how to cultivate marijuana.

Charleroi Regional police accuse the father of also using a glass chemistry set and solvent to grow a hybrid strain of marijuana at 932 Fourth St., court records show.

The father, Benjamin Braddy, 34, is facing charges of manufacturing marijuana, drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors. His wife, Sabrina Braddy, 35, will be charged with endangering the welfare of children and disorderly conduct, the records indicate.

Washington County Children and Youth Services took custody of the children after being contacted by police, who reportedly grew concerned upon finding the couple arguing at a coin-operated laundry and seeing their children dirty and wearing tattered clothing about 11 a.m. Sunday. The clothes the couple were about to wash at Charleroi Laundromat at 301 First St. were covered with dirt and animal hair, according to police.

Police said the children were not wearing winter clothing and did not have coats with them, even though it was 18 degrees outside, the affidavit indicates. The ages of the children were not immediately known Friday.

Benjamin Braddy suffered an anxiety attack while being questioned by police and was taken to Mon Valley Hospital, and he later signed himself in for treatment, the record show.

His wife gave police and a CYS caseworker permission to inspect her house, which was piled so high with dirty clothes and garbage that its floors were not visible, police stated in the affidavit. The odor inside the house was unbearable, police said.

“Every room was deplorable,” police stated in the affidavit.

Charleroi police called state police to the residence after finding the chemistry set and believing they had encountered a methamphetamine lab. After returning to the house upon determining it didn’t contain a meth lab, they said they found three marijuana plants growing inside a Plexiglas box in the basement.

Police said the children admitted to the CYS worker that they helped their father grow the plants.

The couple were mailed the charges by summons ordering them to appear for their arraignments and a preliminary hearing at 11 a.m. March 11 before District Judge Larry Hopkins.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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