CARBONDALE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A corrections officer from the state prison in Waymart is suspended tonight after being arrested this week in Carbondale.
Police say Raymond Cobb was growing marijuana in his own backyard right in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
The 35-year-old was arraigned early Thursday morning. He was sent to prison on $50,000 bail.
Carbondale police say one of the unique aspects of this case is that it is the first time their department has used a drone to help out in a criminal investigation.
Investigators say they seized a total of 30 marijuana plants, some as high as seven feet tall, from the backyard of Raymond Cobb.
“That’s unbelievable! Right here? With all these homes and everything? I can’t believe it!” Carmella Dottle of Greenfield Township said.
Dottle often walks in the neighborhood of 42nd Street, where Raymond Cobb lives.
Neighbors say they had no idea about the pot plants growing near them. They say the plants were shielded by a large black mesh-like tarp.
“Everybody here is such a close-knit family, you know what I mean?” Dottle said. “Who would ever think that somebody would do that in this neighborhood!”
In order to positively identify the marijuana plants in Cobb’s backyard, Carbondale police called officers in the city of Scranton who brought up their drone to take a look from the sky.
That confirmed exactly what was growing.
“Technology, technology, now-a-days you can’t hide nothing now-a-days!” Frank Pack of Carbondale said.
After first using the drone, Carbondale police say they also brought in the state police aviation unit to fly over the area and double check that what was growing in Cobb’s backyard were indeed marijuana plants.
Carbondale police say when using the drone they did it from a lawful vantage point.
People like Tom Williams think drones will only be used more frequently in the future.
“That’s pretty good. That helps them so they catch the people,” Tom Williams of Carbondale said.
According to a spokesman from the state prison in Waymart, Raymond Cobb has been suspended without pay from his position as a corrections officer during the course of this criminal investigation.
In addition to the 30 growing pot plants, police say they also seized marijuana which was drying out in Cobb’s garage in Carbondale.