Of all the places he could have gone with a 25-pound bag of marijuana, a Tottenville man decided Thursday to walk into the South Shore's 123rd Precinct.
Benito Berrios, 41, told police at the Tottenville stationhouse he'd found the pot in a dresser at the furniture company where he works, said a law-enforcement source.
That claim piqued cops' interest and they asked Berrios if they could search his home. Berrios agreed.
When detectives arrived at his house on the 200 block of Chelsea Street, they allegedly found even more pot.
Seven large plastic bags were tied to the sides of bushes and trees in the yard of the residence, and inside were 74 small, vacuum-packed plastic bags each containing about a pound of marijuana, according to the source and court records.
The source could not estimate the street value, although some pot goes for about $5,000 a pound. That potentially makes the stash outside Berrios' home worth about $370,000.
"It's certainly the largest marijuana seizure I've ever been associated with," said NYPD Capt. Richard Gutch, who has commanded the 123rd Precinct for three years and been a captain on Staten Island for a decade.
Investigators want to know whether Berrios intended to distribute the pot.
"That's a lot to be using for recreational purposes," said the source, who couldn't immediately explain why Berrios had brought the pot to cops
Berrios and his wife, Kristine, 30, were arrested and charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of criminal marijuana possession, according to a spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Donovan.
By FRANK DONNELLY
September 19, 2009
Staten Island Advance