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Pot-growing suspect faces new charges


Published: Sat, September 17, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.


The suspect's preliminary hearing is Thursday.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR PENNSYLVANIA BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A second set of drug charges were filed against a man accused of growing marijuana after police processed items found in his house.
Police charged Ralph Alex Baughman, 46, of 509 Lyndall St., on Friday with manufacturing a controlled substance, possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, charges identical to those filed Thursday.
Thursday's charges, however, were for more than 1,300 marijuana plants found in August in a North Beaver Township field Baughman owned. The new set of charges are based on what city police found in Baughman's home when they went to arrest him Thursday.
Baughman was not home when police arrived, but he was later arrested at his job in Zelienople, Pa.
Found in the house
According to the affidavit filed to support the charges, inside the house officers found 410 suspected marijuana plants with a halogen light over them, more plants in the bathtub surrounded by mirrors and lights, 50-pound bags of peat moss, liquid chemical used to grow plants, a scale, books and videos on how to grow marijuana, and two live chickens used to make fertilizer compost.
Baughman is in the Lawrence County jail after failing to post $250,000 bond on the original set of charges. District Justice Melissa Amodie set Baughman's bond at $50,000 on the second set of charges. He is scheduled to appear in Thursday in Lawrence County Central Court for his preliminary hearing.
Court papers stated that officers also found documents detailing the planting of marijuana fields and a step-by- step plan for harvesting and packaging the marijuana in September. The papers stated the plant sale was to begin in November for $120 per ounce.
Suspected marijuana was found in vacuum-sealed bags inside the chimney and in a bowl in the kitchen waiting to be packaged, court papers stated.
Baughman told police the suspected marijuana was his own, and he had customers in New Castle, including one who he sold 20 pounds to in 2004, the affidavit says.
cioffi@vindy.com


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