NORTH ADAMS -- Police say they seized roughly two pounds of marijuana and 88 marijuana plants in the basement of a Fairgrounds Avenue home during a Wednesday raid.
The home's residents, Daniel Chao, 37, and Stephanie Lemay, 33, were arrested Wednesday and arraigned separately in Northern Berkshire District Court that day on charges of distributing a Class D drug, conspiracy to violate drug law, and two counts of Class D drug possession to distribute.
Bail was set at $2,500 cash and $25,000 surety bond for each defendant, but only Chao was ordered to be detained in the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction until his next court date on Nov. 25.
The North Adams Police Department, in conjunction with the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Detective Unit, executed a search warrant on the house shortly after 9 a.m. on Wednesday, according to a report filed by North Adams Police Detective Mark Bailey.
In searching the house, police say they found 88 different marijuana plants, seeds, and approximately 2 pounds of marijuana that had already been packaged, according to the report. Police also uncovered marijuana distributing records, Bailey stated.
In addition to the marijuana, police say they found approximately 10-20 grams of a substance that field-tested positive as hash oil, resulting in the second possession charge.
"This represents over a month of investigation," North Adams Police Director Michael Cozzaglio said Thursday.
According to Adams Police Detective Lawrence Ordyna, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency estimates the value of a well-grown marijuana plant to be $1,000. Ordyna said plants can be worth between as much as between $2,700-$4,000 in Berkshire County.
These estimates put the value of the seized marijuana plants between $88,000 and $352,000. The packaged marijuana was estimated to be worth approximately $4,000.
"It was a significant growing operation in the house," Cozzaglio said.
Attorneys for both defendants could not be reached Thursday.
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