SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A structure fire on Liberty Street in Springfield lead to the discovery of a marijuana grow operation inside the home Thursday afternoon.
According to Springfield Police spokesman Ryan Walsh, firefighters were called to the 700 block of Liberty Street for a structure fire around 1 p.m. Thursday and while firefighters were clearing the home they discovered a marijuana grow operation inside the home on the second floor. Detectives detained the resident of the home, 37-year-old Jeffrey Erricolo, pending the investigation.
The first floor of the building is a business.
Walsh said there was also a van that was backed up to the garage door that had driven across the parking lot once the driver, 28-year-old Jared Via, noticed officers arrived. Officers then spoke to Via who admitted he worked for Erricolo, was carrying a firearm, and had a license to carry. He was detained pending the investigation.
Detectives then requested a search warrant for the two vans and the residence and executed the search around 7 p.m. Inside the home detectives located approximately 142 pounds of marijuana, THC edibles, THC oils, and THC liquid cartridges and more than $112,000 in cash. Inside the two vans, officers seized ten high capacity magazines, ten additional magazines, an AR-style ghost gun, six semi-automatic pistols and a semi-automatic rifle.
Detectives also located another van registered to Erricolo which was believed to be involved in the transporting and illegal sale of marijuana. According to Walsh, due to the amount of marijuana, and information that detectives received that Erricolo was trafficking marijuana, he was arrested. The court clerk placed a $10,000 bail on Erricolo. He paid it and was released.
Jeffrey Erricolo is charged with the following:
- Trafficking marijuana (100-200lbs)
- Cultivate/manufacture marijuana
- Possession of a class B drug
Officers also arrested Via even though he had a valid license to carry he was in possession of several illegal high capacity feeding devices and a ghost gun without a serial number in addition to hash-oil. The ghost gun was seized, the seven additional firearms are held pending the results of this case and/or a review of his license to carry by Monson Police.
Jared Via is charged with the following:
- Make a firearm without a serial number
- Possession of a high capacity magazine/feeding device (six counts)
- Possession of a class C drug