An allegation of stolen power turned into drug charges for an Egg Harbor Township family this week.
The basement of the home on the 300 block of Glenn Avenue was being used as a marijuana production facility, Lt. Robert Gray said Thursday.
Officers were assisting an Atlantic City Electric investigation into the alleged theft of electricity via a meter bypass when officers the police smelled smelled a strong odor of raw marijuana, Gray said.
Evidence suggesting that marijuana was being produced at the home resulted in the four people inside being removed and a search warrant being approved.
Township detectives with the Criminal Investigation Bureau found “an elaborate marijuana-production facility in the basement, with about $2,700 in cash, a defaced Sig Sauer handgun, a large amount of drug paraphernalia and 20 pounds of pot in various forms, including edibles, waxes, oils, liquids and vegetation.
Husband and wife Daemen Reese, 40, and Nicole Taurino-Reese, 46, were charged with possession of a deface firearm, possession of a firearm while committing a drug crime, possession with intent to distribute, tampering with evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Reese’s 21-year-old son, Brandon Reese, along with the fourth resident, Breanne Coucoules, 26, were charged with possession with intent to distribute and tampering with evidence.
Additional charges for each of maintaining/operating a marijuana-production facility are pending.
They were all being lodged at the Atlantic County Justice Facility pending a first appearance.