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Buffalo Cop Pleads Guilty In Pot Business

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    NEW YORK STATE - Side jobs are common among Buffalo police officers, but Jorge I. Melendez had a unique one. He grew marijuana.

    Melendez, a four-year veteran of the department, admitted Tuesday to running a marijuana-growing operation while he was a police officer. He made the admission as part of a plea deal that is likely to send him to federal prison for at least five years. “How does a police officer get involved in something like this?” U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio asked Melendez on Tuesday. “It’s just extremely poor judgment,” he answered. “Extremely poor,” said Foschio.

    Prosecutors claim Melendez oversaw an operation with more than 1,000 plants and at times made stops at his warehouse, sometimes while in uniform and on the job, to check on them. They also claim that Jason Elardo, Melendez’s alleged partner in the grow operation, handled the day-to-day operation and paid the former officer for the use of his warehouse. Elardo committed suicide last year.

    “The defendant was paid $10,000 when the marijuana was harvested,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric M. Opanga said of Melendez. Opanga said harvests at the warehouse, located at 2157 South Park Ave., took place about four times a year. As part of his plea deal, Melendez admitted taking part in a conspiracy to manufacture 100 marijuana plants. He also stopped well short of admitting he checked on the plants while in uniform. “He think it’s best for he and his family to resolve the case,” said Buffalo defense lawyer Jeremy D. Schwartz.

    Melendez’s guilty plea – his deal still must be accepted by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny – follows a similar plea by the man accused of taking care of his marijuana crop. Robert Osika, 47, admitted tending to about 400 marijuana plants between 2009 and 2012 as part of his own agreement with prosecutors. Osika pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana plants and now faces up to 18 months in prison.

    At the time of his arrest in 2012, Melendez was accused of overseeing an operation that included two warehouses, two homes and more than 1,000 marijuana plants. He was fired by city officials after his arrest.
    The yearlong investigation into Melendez started with the State Police and Drug Enforcement Administration, but also involved the FBI and Buffalo police.

    Buffalo News / August 5, 2014


    Photo: stock, Buffalo Police

    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. hookedonhelping
    This is so common in Buffalo. The police in Buffalo are some of the most corrupt in the nation. Just read this stunning review of the Erie County Sheriffs Department by some pissed off individual who has had it with these guys. Apparently the tipping point for this individual was when they entered the property in plain clothes, 3 officers, with guns, and without a warrant, looking for an individual who has never resided address but not before shooting the families 2 year old pit bull while a young child nearby was traumatized by the events unfolding, the officers were not invited on the property and allegedly the Detective Greg McCarthy who shot the dog was 20 feet away.

    A few day after the dog received 2 dozen staples, the police showed up with an order to seize the dog, to destroy the evidence of their major fuck up. Talk about a corrupt town! I found this review of the government agency perfect in evert aspect.

    ★☆☆☆☆ Look up the term "Corruption" and you will see the badge in the corner of this Facebook page. Not a single star is deserved. Inmates being hung by officers, detectives shooting family pets. "Duty * Honor * Service" my ass. And to top it off, they have taken away my first amendment right to freedom of speech on their Facebook page by blocking me and not allowing me to comment on their stupid posts.

    I am sorry, but this whole outfit is a joke and it's only a matter of time before the people of NY who have had it with you thugs, revolt. No wonder "Bucky" was such a popular outlaw for a while. You go around killing animals that are considered family members without so much as a warrant to even be on their property? Then you go and take the dog? What fucking country do you pigs think this is? North Korea?

    You may have guns, but people like myself, have brains and there are a lot more like me who DEMAND reform. At ANY cost. I am not a violent man, but this sort of shit makes me wish the movie "The Purge" was a real life concept. If allowed, I would have a list of corrupt POS law enforcement officers ready for a torturous good time. Maybe start off with a bit of hydrofluoric acid dripped upon the genitals, as it dissolves your flesh and then the chair upon which you sit. Then I would walk away, and let you live.

    I think this is fair, death is too nice of a purge type sentence. I mean let's face it, half of you fucks joined the force because you felt the urge to compensate for something, right? It's not like your now non existent genitals are going to be missed. Not much there to start with, Right Detective Greg McCarthy? Get a gun, yell "respect my authrotiah" and pretend your manhood doesn't barely pass the labia minora those random times you get lucky.

    I bet half the force is feeling a bit insecure right about now. The other half, hopefully they are halfway decent cops, secure in knowing that they can go home and pound their wife without a single complaint. Happy Wife.. Happy Life. Why are you POS cops so mad? Penile extension surgery is covered under your insurance is it not?

    Link that fired up this review provider http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/justice-for-lady-erie-county-ny/

    Buffalo NY, Corrupt since its inception as the hub of much of the U.S, i.e., since its existence.
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