Six arrested in local drug sweep


By David Avitabile

Six people were arrested on charges of unlawfully growing marijuana last week after more than 500 plants were found growing in nine Schoharie County towns.
The arrests are not connected, said Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond. Police are still trying to determine who is responsible for the drugs in some of the locations and more arrests are possible.
The Sheriff’s office began to gather evidence during the summer and with the help of three helicopter flights on August 31 and September 1, and were able to identify locations in the towns of Richmondville, Seward, Sharon, Carlisle, Summit, Fulton, Schoharie, Esperance, and Wright at which drug were being grown.
It seemed to be a bumper crop for marijuana growing in the county this year, Sheriff Desmond said.
“This year the marijuana crop was plentiful,” he said. “There was a lot of high-grade marijuana being cut.”
Searches will continue, he said.
“Certainly we didn’t find it all but we got a lot of it.”
The following people were charged with unlawfully growing marijuana, a misdemeanor under the state’s Public Health Law: Kenneth Adair, 59, of Richmondville; David Karper Sr., 53, of Seward; David Karper Jr., 29, of Seward; Thomas Rundblad, 21, of Summit; Renee Tessier, 22, of Summit; and Glenn Salisbury, 46, of Carlisle.
Some of the drugs were found in some very remote and swampy areas of the county, the Sheriff said.
“Some were very well hidden,” he said.
Two four-hour flights by members of the Army National Guard and another flight by the New York State Power Authority on August 31 and September 1 helped to identify the sites, the Sheriff said.
The Sheriff’s office has also been working with the Cobleskill State Police in the investigation.
Police are still trying to determine who is responsible for 200 pounds of marijuana being dried with the help of some kerosene heaters under a tarp and camouflaged off of Colby Road in the Town of Schoharie, Sheriff Desmond said.
Police said they filled 15 large garbage bags with marijuana to be destroyed and the drying system, discovered on October 11, was taken down.
That site was discovered by someone scouting out hunting locations, he said.
Sheriff Desmond said he could not give a value on the drugs seized but said it was a “substantial amount.”
He said anyone with more information about the drugs or other locations should contact the Sheriff’s office at 295-2271.
Sheriff Desmond said he had contacts with the Army National Guard when he was a state trooper and was pleased to find out that they still do flyovers.