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Westmoreland

Police: Man drove marijuana plants around in pickup, arrested after grow room found

Renatta Signorini
| Thursday, June 7, 2018, 9:27 a.m.
Dale Allen Rose Jr.
Dale Allen Rose Jr.
Penn Township police seized 29 marijuana plants from a Claridge man.
Penn Township police seized 29 marijuana plants from a Claridge man.

A Claridge man drove two miles through Penn Township Wednesday with marijuana plants in the bed of a pickup truck, according to police.

Dale Allen Rose Jr., 30, was arrested after officers responding to a different call found a grow room behind a hidden door at his home, police said.

He was jailed on $100,000 bond.

“We believe 29 plants and a grow operation with a hidden room —he's putting some narcotics out on the street in that area at least,” said Police Chief John Otto.

Police were called to Rose's St. John Street home at 10:20 a.m. Wednesday for a possible child abduction, but investigators found the child was safe and believed there was more to the story, Otto said. A woman there tipped police off to the grow room and said Rose had left in her black Chevrolet Silverado that was loaded with marijuana plants, according to an affidavit.

Officer David Meyers Jr. reported seeing “multiple fresh marijuana leaves” on the home's porch, as well as a large bag of potting soil and numerous pots.

“I did not observe any commonly legal recently planted plants,” Meyers wrote in the complaint.

Police located Rose and the pickup truck, now empty, about two miles away at his parents' home on Koter Drive. Fresh potting soil was found on the ground around the truck, on the back seat and in the truck bed, police said.

They followed a path through trampled weeds and found at least eight marijuana plants stashed in a storage container and behind a garage.

Back at Rose's house, police obtained a search warrant and found the sophisticated grow room behind a hidden door that appeared to be a bookshelf in a kitchen utility room. They seized several items, including two plants, fertilizer and lamps.

“It was in an area of the house ... (that) would've been very easy to overlook,” Otto said.

Police have gotten reports of suspicious activity in the area where Rose lives in the past, he said.

Rose is charged with several drug offenses, unauthorized use of a vehicle, tampering with evidence and driving with a suspended or revoked license. He did not have an attorney listed in online court records.

A June 26 preliminary hearing is scheduled.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374, rsignorini@tribweb.com or via Twitter @byrenatta.

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