ShareThis Page
Westmoreland

Police seize 35 pounds of marijuana, more than 400 vape pen cartridges from Irwin man

Renatta Signorini
| Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, 1:21 p.m.
Police seized about 35 pounds of marijuana, more than 400 cannabis cartridges for vape pens, cash, mushrooms, guns and other items from an Irwin man.
Police seized about 35 pounds of marijuana, more than 400 cannabis cartridges for vape pens, cash, mushrooms, guns and other items from an 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, rsignorini@tribweb.com or via Twitter @byrenatta.

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.

click me