PAUPACK TOWNSHIP, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Candy and chocolate-laced with marijuana.
Those are just some of the items prosecutors say they seized during a big drug bust Monday afternoon in Wayne County.
The pot-laced candy along with roughly seven pounds of marijuana and $7,000 in cash were seized from the home of an 18-year-old Monday in Paupack Township.
Investigators say they found gummies and chocolate bars infused with marijuana that were ready to be sold.
“Drug dealers are smart. They know how to disguise it so that children can eat it, want it and go back and buy it,” Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards said.
Gerard Amato, 18, of Lakeville is now behind bars for the alleged criminal enterprise.
Detectives believe he would frequently go out-of-state to buy large amounts of pot in plant form and then bring it back to sell in Wayne County.
“To pose that kind of substance in that form is rather despicable,” Joe Kelly of Honesdale said.
Joe Kelly has several kids and thinks this drug bust reiterates the need for parents to warn their children that drugs can sometimes take on “non-traditional” forms.
It’s a message that his ten-year-old daughter Emma received loud and clear.
“They can kill you and they can make you do bad things,” Emma Kelly of Honesdale said.
Gerard Amato was most recently staying and allegedly selling drugs from a home on Route 590 near Hamlin.
He moved to this area because he was the victim of an armed home invasion at another home in February where prosecutors think the thieves knew he had this type of stash.
“When we see this amount of drug activity, we know violence is close behind so by getting this dealer off the street it’s a win and make us more safety,” Edwards said.
Gerard Amato is currently locked-up on $100,000 bail.
His roommate, 23-year-old Andrew Zuidema, is expected to face misdemeanor charges in connection with Monday’s drug bust.