Brookline police arrest three, seize large stash of marijuana and $117,000
Brookline police discovered a large stash of suspected marijuana and $117,000 in cash inside a Freeman Street building after being tipped off by California authorities that a shipment of marijuana was being sent to the town.
Three suspects, one of whom is a student at Boston University, are facing drug charges after allegedly claiming packages of marijuana sent from California, Brookline police said.
An officer from the Sacramento, Calif., police drug task force called Brookline police to alert them that a package containing four to five pounds of marijuana had been sent to a tenant of the building on Freeman Street, according to police logs posted on the Web.
Brookline police responded to the building and spoke with a security officer in the lobby who told police that several packages had been sent to a person who did not live in the building. The security officer also said the packages had been picked up by two tenants, police said.
Jesse Pomponio, one of the tenants, pleaded not guilty to charges of possession to distribute drugs and a school zone violation. He also has an open case for operating under the influence out of Orleans District Court, said Norfolk district attorney’s spokesman David Traub.
Alex Zhang was also charged with possession to distribute drugs and a school zone violation. He pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance, Traub said. It was unclear whether Zhang was also a tenant of the building.
Traub did not know if either of the defendants were affiliated with Boston University.
A third suspect turned himself in and will be charged with possession with intent to distribute drugs, police said. Traub said he had no information on the third defendant. Brookline police could not be reached Monday evening for more information.
Officers executed a search warrant at the Freeman Street address and found $117,000 and 10 to 15 pounds of marijuana, police said.
Police are still investigating the incident. They said they are also looking for a fourth suspect.
Pomponio and Zhang will return to court on Dec. 12.Melissa Werthmann can be reached at email@example.com. Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.