SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Springfield police say that a man who they caught with more than 50 marijuana plants in his backyard had bragged to people that he didn’t need to work because he was making so much money selling drugs.
Police Sgt. John Delaney told 22News that Michael P. Oliverio, 45, of Springfield, and his father, Ronald L. Oliverio, 74, had been growing marijuana in the backyard of their 95 Merida Street home.
According to Delaney, police had launched an investigation into the marijuana growing operation about a month ago. Over the course of the investigation, police learned that Michael Oliverio had been bragging about his success selling drugs.
Detectives obtained a search warrant, and raided the home on Tuesday evening. Once they got inside, they allegedly found Michael Oliverio holding three large bags of marijuana and 160 grams of methadone pills.
Moving into the backyard, police discovered 57 marijuana plants, yielding a total of 47 pounds of pot, Delaney said. Drug paraphernalia and nearly $8,000 in cash was also found.
Shocking news for some western Massachusetts residents; “Even if it's Springfield or other surrounding communities, you know, because of all the legalized pot that's going to be coming in, I didn't think any of the illegal ones would make it anymore.”
Springfield residents told 22News police are doing a good job getting illegal drugs off the streets, but they believe it's an uphill battle.
Thomas Murray of Springfield said, “Marijuana is a big thing in this country, and no matter what you do, somebody's going to use it, but police are doing a good job. I think. At least the ones that they catch, they can put them in jail.”
Both Michael and Ronald Oliverio were arraigned Wednesday in Springfield District Court.
Police plan on filing paperwork to seize the Oliverio home at 95 Merida Street.