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County narcotics officers have arrested a Bessemer man accused of growing marijuana at his home.

Lawrence County District Attorney's Drug Task Force, with members of the Bessemer Borough and North Beaver Township police departments, on Sept. 25 served a sealed search warrant at the home of 77-year-old Stephen M. Cardella, at 27 N. Field Street in the borough. They seized 19 suspected marijuana plants of various sizes during the raid, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in court.

The report states that 15 plants were found growing in plastic buckets, three were planted in the ground and one was in a plastic bin in water. Two of the plants were inside Cardella's garage, and 17 were outside in a wooded area behind the garage, the report said.

The police also confiscated two Mason jars containing suspected marijuana, a plastic bag containing suspected marijuana, two buds,  a rolled marijuana cigarette and various packaging material, they reported.

Cardella is a former borough councilman and a current member of the borough zoning hearing board.

A charge of possession of a controlled substance was filed against him Thursday in the court of District Judge Jennifer L. Nicholson. Cardella was arraigned by Senior District Judge Scott McGrath, who released him on a nonmonetary bond, pending his preliminary hearing.

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