Four residents of the state of California were arrested Thursday after state police seized about 200 pounds of marijuana from an Allenport excavating business warehouse and a suspect’s car, and found more than 50 additional pounds and a large amount of cash at two other Western Pennsylvania locations.
Arrested while dropping off a crate containing the suspected marijuana that was shipped here from California were Glen Edward Meyers, 55, and John James Kash, 50, both of Redding; James Joseph Massery, 52, of La Mesa, and Aimee Sharon Burgess, 34, of Shasta Lake City.
On May 9, state police were contacted about a suspicious parcel being shipped from Benicia, Calif., to a trucking terminal in McKees Rocks. The parcel was shipped by Massery, reportedly using the name of a fictitious company.
The parcel arrived at a trucking terminal in Copley, Ohio. State police met with Ohio law enforcement at the terminal. Since the package had narcotic indicators, a police dog scanned it and alerted for the presence of a controlled substance.
Police obtained a search warrant for the package. When it was opened, police found 170 pounds of marijuana. State police took the package for controlled delivery to the address in McKees Rocks Wednesday. Before delivery was made, police removed about 110 pounds of the marijuana and replaced it with sand, leaving about 60 pounds of the drug in the box. Also placed in the box was a tracking unit.
Police had the terminal under surveillance Wednesday when a man later identified as Massery drove up in a U-Haul cargo van and loaded the box.
Massery was followed to a motel in Monroeville. He and Kash were seen entering a motel room. Later that day the two men, along with Myers and Burgess, were seen in the parking lot around the van before entering their motel rooms.
On Thursday morning, Burgess was seen carrying two boxes from a Honda to the van. She and Myers got into the car with Massery and Kash getting into the van. The vehicles drove to Allenport, stopping at a garage at McIntosh Excavating, 1909 Route 88. Less then 10 minutes later, the beeper activated indicating the parcel had been opened.
Myers and Kash were taken into custody in the parking lot. Burgess and Massery were found inside the garage after she tried to lock the officers out. Police obtained a search warrant for the car, finding 30 more pounds of marijuana and $27,000.
The raid was the talk of the town in Allenport Friday, although no residents wanted to go on the record to discuss the bust. One business owner said he saw police cars at the shop around noon Thursday, and another resident said they were still there when she came home about 4 p.m.
Additional search warrants were executed in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. Police found the additional 55 pounds of marijuana and $130,000.
All four were arraigned Thursday night before District Judge Jay Weller on charges of conspiracy, possession and possession with intent to deliver marijuana and each placed in the Washington County jail on $50,000 bond. Preliminary hearings are set for May 28 before District Judge Larry Hopkins.