A Wilkes-Barre man faces charges for
allegedly growing 170 marijuana plants on state game lands in Luzerne County.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission, in conjunction with the
state Office of Attorney General, filed charges in the case.
Thomas Dalton, 47, of Airy Street, is charged with one felony count
of manufacture of a controlled substance, one felony count of possession with the intent to deliver a
controlled substance, and one misdemeanor count of possession of a
Dalton also is charged with violating the Game and Wildlife Code by unlawfully traveling by motorized
vehicle on state game lands, possessing a controlled substance
or drug paraphernalia, using game lands for commercial purpose,
and additional violations. Charges were filed at the office of Magisterial District Judge Gerald Feissner, of Freeland.
The charges stem from an
investigation by Wildlife Conservation Officer David Allen, of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Allen was patrolling State Game Lands 187 in Dennison Township
on the afternoon of Sept. 6, when he observed Dalton operating a
vehicle along a remote section of utility line that traverses the game lands. A search of the vehicle driven by
Dalton revealed a 125-gallon plastic water tank, an electric water pump
and other items consistent with the cultivation of marijuana.
Allen subsequently discovered vehicle tracks entering the woods perpendicular
to the power line and followed the tracks to an open area, where
he discovered 170 mature marijuana plants growing at the site.
Field tests on the plants were positive for THC, a chemical compound
found in marijuana. Dalton allegedly told Allen and agents
with the Attorney General’s office that he planted the marijuana at
the game lands location earlier this year.
Wildlife conservation officers from the Game Commission’s Northeast
Region were assisted in the investigation by narcotics agents from
the state Office of Attorney General, the Pennsylvania State Police,
and members of the Luzerne County Drug Task Force.
“Our conservation officers are extremely active in patrolling state
game lands to detect criminal activity and any abuse of our natural resources,” commented Game
Commission Northeast Regional Director Daniel Figured. “
The agency intends to prosecute individuals who commit these types of
crimes to the fullest extent of the law.”