Police & Fire

Physical Dispute Leads to Discovery of Marijuana-Growing Operation in Fairfield

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Plants Growing Behind Nell Ct. Residence Cut Down Credits: Anthony Manna, FPD Chief
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Plants growing in back yard of Nell Court residence Credits: Chief Anthony Manna
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Jose Sanchez, originally of Dover, involved in Fairfield Marijuana-Growing Operation Credits: Anthony Manna
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Timothy Olster involved in Fairfield Marijuana-Growing Operation Credits: Anthony Manna
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Plants growing in back yard of Nell Court residence were cut down Credits: Chief Antony Manna
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FAIRFIELD, NJ — While investigating a report of a dispute at a Nell Court residence in Fairfield, the Fairfield Police Department discovered that the two Fairfield residents in question were in possession of 10-to-49 marijuana plants and were arrested for maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance facility, according to Police Chief Anthony Manna. 

In addition to the possession and maintenance offenses listed above, Timothy Olster, 40, and Jose Sanchez, 30, were also arrested for possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, conspiracy to distribute marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia on July 31.

At approximately 8:18 a.m. on Sunday, Fairfield Officers James High, Jr. and David Lagan arrived at the scene of the reported dispute and observed an injury to the nose of Sanchez, who was allegedly struck by Olster. According to Manna, the officers also observed a smashed driver-side window on Olster’s 2013 GMC sport-utility vehicle, which Sanchez allegedly struck with a brick.

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Upon further investigation, the two officers allegedly observed marijuana residue and packaging in Olster’s bedroom, as well as two marijuana plants being automatically watered in the laundry room. In addition, High and Lagan allegedly observed a cluster of marijuana plants that were approximately six feet in height, growing in the rear yard near a swimming pool.

According to Manna, both men were arrested on scene pursuant to their actions relating to the initial dispute. However, the residence was immediately secured pending a search warrant, according to police.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. that afternoon, Fairfield officers and a K-9 unit from the Essex County Sheriff’s Department returned, executed the search warrant, and allegedly found a marijuana-growing operation throughout the Fairfield residence.

According to a report by Fairfield officers, the windows to the basement were covered and a “hot box” tent was set up that contained timed lighting for the plants. Allegedly, the officers on scene also found various fertilizers and liquids to enhance plant growth, small soil pods for seedlings, a number of Tupperware containers with dried marijuana in them, packaging material and a number of small marijuana plants.

The officers also allegedly found, to their surprise, one marijuana plant in a pot on a shelf above the kitchen sink.

In addition to the narcotics related charges, Olster was also charged with simple assault and Sanchez with criminal mischief relating to the original call. Police are anticipating making one more arrest relating to the marijuana-grow operation.

Both Olster and Sanchez are scheduled to make an initial appearance in the Superior Court in Newark on Aug. 11.

It should be noted that the charges against Olster and Sanchez are merely allegations and that both are presumed innocent until they either plead guilty or are found guilty in a court of law.

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