Pot-growing operation alleged
Police find 172 marijuana plants
SCHENECTADY State police have arrested a city man, accusing him of operating a “significant” marijuana-growing operation at his residence.
Wayne T. Nelson, 58, of 29 Willow Ave., was arrested after a raid on his home by state police and the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, police said Friday evening.
Inside, authorities found a total of 172 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, along with 18 pounds of processed marijuana, police said.
Authorities also seized an amount of concentrated marijuana commonly referred to as “hash,” hallucinogenic mushrooms, a drug used to treat opiate addiction, along with marijuana-growing equipment and $2,308 in cash, police said.
Nelson was charged with one count each of first-degree criminal possession of marijuana and fourth-degree and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, felonies.
He was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful growing of cannabis, misdemeanors.
Nelson was arraigned in town of Glenville court and ordered held without bail due to previous felony convictions, state police said.
Nelson’s record dates back to the late-1970s, state records show, for controlled substance, marijuana and stolen property possession.
In 1986, newspaper records show, Nelson was arrested with his brother at a Madison Avenue apartment in Albany. There, authorities uncovered a marijuana-growing operation that included 60 marijuana plants, some 6 feet tall.
For the 1986 case, Nelson ultimately was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of marijuana and sentenced to 31⁄2 to 7 years in state prison.
Nelson was also the focus of a case in 1979 where he was sentenced in Albany County to five years to life in prison for possession of three pounds of marijuana and LSD. He was also sentenced as a predicate felon. That conviction was overturned in 1982 over questions of how he was stopped and Nelson was set free.
Then, in 1997, Nelson was convicted of stealing clothing from Rudnick’s downtown, where he worked. For that, he was sentenced to another 31⁄2 to 7 years in state prison.