Police detail massive pot bust
BY JENNIFER TODD, Staff Writer
Richard Seery admitted to police he had marijuana in his truck when he was pulled over for speeding last month in East Hempfield Township, police said.
They suspected he had marijuana. Police said they could smell it.
Seery voluntarily turned it over, police said.
Officers placing Seery under arrest said they discovered another small amount on his person.
A search of his truck yielded a third, much more substantial stash, police said -- 17 pounds in a luggage bag.
That's when things began to unravel. Authorities said Seery's alleged drug-dealing career that spanned at least a decade was over.
In the days that followed, authorities said they recovered nearly $1 million worth of marijuana and a quarter of a million dollars in cash from Seery's home and storage units.
Officials also found scales and other packaging supplies.
"This was a huge operation," said a Lancaster County Drug Task Force detective. "We got a major player off the street."
The official said Seery had been working the operation for more than 10 years.
According to a release from the drug task force, events unfolded this way:
Seery was pulled over Jan. 14 in the 3300 block of Nolt Road for driving 45 mph in a 25-mph zone.
After discovering marijuana during the traffic stop, officials served a search warrant at Seery's home at 127 Treetops Drive where they seized 29 grams of marijuana, 3.5 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, $4,000 cash, handguns and drug paraphernalia. An AK-47 was found in a storage unit.
During a search of the home, officials noticed an "overwhelming" smell of marijuana in the living room but couldn't find the source of the odor.
Detectives went back to the home Jan. 16 after receiving information that Seery had a hidden room built into his house. They discovered the entrance to the room hidden in a book shelf.
In the 5-foot-by-5-foot room officials found 14 pounds of marijuana, digital scales, packaging materials and a safe containing $47,000.
Officials filed additional charges and arrested Seery as he was being released on bail from Lancaster County Prison on the initial charges.
During a subsequent interview with police, Seery agreed to take detectives to two locations where he had additional marijuana and had money hidden,
In a storage unit in Manor Township, officials seized a BMW that had 36 pounds of marijuana in the trunk.
Seery then took them to a location in East Hempfield Township where he had hidden $200,000.
In total, officials confiscated 68 pounds of marijuana -- with a street value of $800,000 -- and $251,000 cash.
Task force detectives also raided an East Hempfield Township where Seery allegedly had an indoor marijuana-growing operation.