Police seize 35 pounds of marijuana, more than 400 vape pen cartridges from Irwin man
An alleged “large dealer” had about 35 pounds of marijuana and more than 400 cannabis cartridges for vape pens at his Irwin home and in his sport-utility vehicle, according to police.
Zachary Morton, 31, was pulled over Wednesday at about 4:30 p.m. after police said he ran a red light on Route 30 eastbound in Hempfield and investigators seized the drugs and other items.
Morton was arraigned Thursday and is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison without bond on numerous drug-related offenses.
State troopers, a county detective and officers from Greensburg and Penn Township were working a “narcotics interdiction detail” near Lewis Road Wednesday when Morton allegedly ran the light in a Mercedes sport-utility vehicle, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Investigators smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and saw a large plastic container and box in the rear.
Police said Morton appeared nervous. Penn Township K9 Mingo indicated narcotics were inside the vehicle. Police seized about 20 pounds of marijuana, 400 cartridges, 1 pound of marijuana wax and 2 ounces of cocaine, according to the complaint. Marijuana wax is a potent, concentrated form of THC, the chemical in marijuana that affects the brain.
The cartridges also contain THC and can be medically prescribed, but county Detective Tony Marcocci said they can be sold illegally for cheaper.
At Morton’s Ninth Street home, police confiscated an additional 15 pounds of marijuana, more cartridges, body armor, cash, mushrooms and paraphernalia. Morton had about 16 guns he owned legally, said county Detective Tony Marcocci.
Each pound of marijuana is valued at about $1,800 and each cartridge can sell for up to $50, said Greensburg Police Capt. Robert Stafford.
“The public doesn’t realize the money being generated by the black market in marijuana,” Marcocci said.
Morton did not have an attorney listed in online court records. An Oct. 25 preliminary hearing is set.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter @byrenatta.