Share This Page

Woman pleads guilty to growing marijuana in Elderton

| Thursday, July 3, 2014, 12:41 a.m.

A 40-year-old Indiana County woman on Wednesday pleaded guilty to her involvement in a marijuana-growing operation two years ago in an Elderton trailer.

Darla Darlene Connors of Home appeared before President Judge Kenneth Valasek in orange jail-issued clothing and pleaded guilty to two felony counts of manufacturing a controlled substance.

Judge Valasek noted that this is Connors' first drug charge.

“The maximum sentence is five years for each count,” he told Connors, adding that it is possible that each sentence could be made consecutive — meaning she could serve up to 10 years in jail.

Looking fresh faced and with hair trimmed above her shoulders, Connors appeared quiet and composed as she listened to the possible sentences she could receive at a hearing set for Aug. 7.

In exchange for her plea, Valasek removed her $25,000 bail and ordered that she be immediately released on her own recognizance from the Armstrong County Jail, where she has been held for five months.

Connors' charges stem from the discovery by police of a marijuana growing operation at 107 Wofford Lane in an Elderton trailer park on June 22, 2011.

According to a police criminal complaint, she had been living at the Wofford Lane trailer with co-defendant John Galentine, 40, when police investigated an “extremely potent odor of marijuana coming from inside the residence.”

A search warrant uncovered at least 140 pot plants and paraphernalia used in the growing operation.

Connors reportedly told police she knew growing and using marijuana was illegal and admitted to smoking the drug.

She and Galentine took off for Kansas after the discovery and were apprehended this year, said Charles Pascal, Connors' defense attorney.

Galentine on June 6 pleaded guilty to two counts of manufacturing a controlled substance and is awaiting sentencing.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.