PAWTUCKET — Two city men were arrested on numerous drug charges after illegal marijuana growing operations were found in their Mulberry Street apartments, Pawtucket Police said.
According to Major Arthur Martins, on Mar. 24 at around 7:30 p.m., Pawtucket firefighters responded to a fire alarm at 95 Mulberry St. When firefighters arrived, the second floor tenant, Jacob Archambault, would reportedly not permit them to enter the building to investigate the source of the alarm. Pawtucket Police were then called to assist the Fire Department, and after a short discussion, Archambault allowed the public safety personnel inside.
Upon entering the apartment house, fire and police personnel noticed heavy smoke in the common hallway leading to the upper floors. There was also an obvious odor of marijuana that was detected, Martins said. When police and firefighters entered the third floor apartment, they encountered another man, James N. Packer. Packer told police he lived on the third floor and had set off the alarm by accident.
Martins said that as police officers and firefighters were speaking with Packer and Archambault, they observed several marijuana plants in the apartment. Officers also observed a large amount of green, leafy material on the floor of several adjoining rooms, he said.
Believing that they had discovered a marijuana growing operation, police officers attempted to place Packer and Archambault into custody as they continued their investigation. However, Archambault reportedly became uncooperative and resisted any attempts to be placed into custody. He tried to gain access to a pair of scissors but was overpowered by the officers and eventually handcuffed, Martins said. Packer did not resist arrest.
Martins said that in the third floor apartment, officers also observed several large containers containing chemicals; lighting and other associated equipment used to conduct indoor growing operations; various types of plastic tubing; and scales and other items associated with the distribution of illegal drugs.
There was also a vast array of electrical wires that firefighters said appeared to be excessive and which created potentially hazardous conditions. It was also discovered that the electrical wires had been arranged in a makeshift way to enter the second floor apartment, in violation of building codes and ordinances. Firefighters entered the second floor apartment to investigate where these wires led and they found another marijuana growing operation, Martins said.
Special squad investigators were then summoned to the scene to continue the investigation. During a search of the two apartments, officers found 1,476 grams of marijuana, 39 marijuana plants, growing equipment which included lights, plastic tubing, liquid fertilizers, reflecting tents for plant isolation, fans, etc.; and scales and packaging materials. Additionally, five Hydrocodone tablets were found in the second floor apartment, Martins said.
Archambault, 29, and Packer, 35, were both arrested on charges of manufacture of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, maintaining a common nuisance/controlled substance, and conspiracy. Archambault was additionally charged with possession of Hydrocodone, simple assault and resisting arrest, Martins said.