A Fultonville man received a half-pound of high-quality marijuana fresh from the sunny fields of California on Tuesday afternoon and was promptly arrested, police said.
Zachary Denero, 21, answered a knock at the door of his 679 Argersinger Road residence in Fultonville at 3 p.m. Tuesday. A mail carrier had a package for him and needed his signature.
Unaware of the sheriff’s deputies hiding in the back of the mail van or that the mail carrier was actually a federal postal inspector assisting in a sting operation, he signed for the package — “at which point he was arrested,” said Montgomery County Undersheriff Jeff Smith.
According to Smith, the sheriff’s department received a tip that Denero was ordering marijuana from California, shipping it by the box through the U.S. Postal Service and dealing it locally.
Smith contacted the postal inspector, who agreed to have Denero’s mail put under watch. On Monday, the inspector reported that a “questionable” package had arrived for Denero at the Fultonville Post Office.
Deputy Jason Nare and his police dog were called in for a search. The dog indicated the package contained illegal drugs, at which point the postal inspector got a federal search warrant and opened the package.
Smith said just under a half-pound of top-grade marijuana was inside. The package was resealed and delivered to an unsuspecting Denero.
Following his arrest, Denero was arraigned in Glen Town Court and released on $1,000 cash bail to appear at a later date.
He is charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor, but the case is still under investigation and could result in more charges.
Representatives of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service could not be reached for comment for this story.