A Fairfield man and two others were charged Thursday with running a marijuana sales and distribution network in Fairfield County after local police, in conjunction with upstate law-enforcement officers, found a 40-pound stash of pot during a raid on a Plainville home Thursday.
The Fairfield police narcotics unit, working with police in Plainville and Southington over the past several months, had collected information about a drug network operating between Skylar Arnold, 27, of Old Hickory Road, and a supplier living in Plainville, police said Friday.
Surveillance confirmed shipments of marijuana between the Plainville man, 29-year-old Jonathan Temporale, and Arnold, who would then distribute the marijuana to customers around the county, police said.
"Dealers often try to exploit our jurisdictional restrictions, and this shows that when jurisdictions cooperate, those jurisdictional boundaries become lines on a map," Fairfield Police Chief Gary McNamara said Friday. "When we cooperate, we're no limited by our boundaries."
Stephen Karolczuk, 30, of Bridgewater, identified as Arnold's driver, was also charged for his role in the marijuana operation.
Deputy Police Chief Chris Lyddy said Friday that officials are uncertain why Karolczuk was used as a driver since he did not live in proximity to the Fairfield or Plainville areas.
"We have some ideas, but that's part of our ongoing investigation," he said.
Based on their investigation, police from the three departments Thursday executed a search-and-seizure warrant at Temporale's Plainville home where they said approximately 40 pounds of marijuana were seized along with about $24,000.
Fairfield police Lt. James Perez called the case "significant" for Fairfield, predicting the arrests will reduce the amount of drugs available for sale to teens and others.
"It's a win for police and the community and the safety of the community," he said.
Lyddy said Southington police were involved in the case because Temporale's home is a half-mile from the Southington border and a drug-sniffing canine from that department was deployed for the investigation. "We needed additional resources," he said.
Police also believe the marijuana was being sold in Southington as well, he said.
A press conference to announce the arrests was held Friday morning at the Plainville Police Department, where items seized during the raid were displayed.
Arnold was charged with possession with intent to sell more than one kilogram of marijuana, possession of more than four ounces and operating a drug factory.
Temporale was charged with possession with intent to sell more than one kilogram of marijuana, possession of more than four ounces of marijuana and operating a drug factory.
Arnold, who was issued a $250,000 bond, was remanded into police custody because he was already on parole for drug trafficking. He was scheduled to appear Friday in Bristol Superior Court.
Temporale posted a $250,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court June 18.
Karolczuk was charged with conspiracy to possess less than four ounces of marijuana, conspiracy to sell more than one kilogram of marijuana and possession of less than four ounces of marijuana. He was held on a $150,000 bond and was scheduled to appear in court Friday.