Four residents of the state of California arrested earlier this year for allegedly hiding about 200 pounds of marijuana in an Allenport warehouse had state charges against them withdrawn after it was determined they had been indicted in federal court in their home state.
Glen Edward Meyers, 53, and John James Kash, 50, both of Redding; James Joseph Massery, 53, of LaMesa; and Aimee Sharon Burgess, 35, of Shasta Lake City, had been scheduled for preliminary hearings on drug-related charges Thursday before District Judge Larry Hopkins. But those charges were withdrawn Oct. 17 when the prosecution learned they had been indicted in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento.
“Because they were indicted in California, the federal prosecutor would take our case as part of theirs,” said Michael Lucas, Washington County first assistant district attorney.
The four were arrested in May after state police seized about 200 pounds of marijuana from an excavating business warehouse along with 50 additional pounds at two other Western Pennsylvania locations. They were taken into custody after dropping off a crate of marijuana that had been shipped here from California.
State police had been contacted about a suspicious parcel being shipped from Bernicia, Calif., to a trucking terminal in McKees Rocks. The box was picked up at the terminal by a man later identified as Massery. The box containing the marijuana was later taken to Allenport.
Lauren Horwood, public information officer for the U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento, said after the four were released on bond on the Pennsylvania charges, federal authorities became involved and were working in cooperation with Pennsylvania officials.
A search warrant was executed at the home shared by Meyers and Kash Sept. 17, Horwood said, and marijuana and guns were seized.
The indictment, filed Oct. 3, alleges that the four had conspired to distribute and possess at least 100 kilograms of marijuana over at least a three-year period. Meyers, Kash and Burgess are also accused of having at least 100 marijuana plants at the Redding home that the two men share.
Meyers, Kash and Burgess, according to the indictment, also had little or no reported income from legitimate employment. The three would reportedly deliver marijuana to various locations in Pennsylvania, where it would be distributed and sold.
Cash deposits were reportedly made in Pennsylvania, often followed by immediate cash withdrawals in Redding, Calif. The indictment alleges the deposits were made to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under federal law so as to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership and control of the drug trafficking proceeds. Cash deposits were made to a credit union account held in the name of Meyers and Burgess between August 2010 and April 2011. The 50 deposits, totalling more than $430,000, ranged in amounts from $5,000 to $9,500.
Meyers also was found with a Smith and Wesson .357-caliber pistol and a Glock semiautomatic pistol.
Meyers, Kash and Massery have previous convictions in federal court on drug-related charges.
Burgess is free on $50,000 bond while Meyers and Kash are in custody. Massery’s whereabouts are unknown and U.S. marshals are looking for him, Horwood said.