Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Indiana man convicted of drug offenses

by The Indiana Gazette on February 27, 2014 11:00 AM

An Indiana man faces $300,000 in possible fines and a combined 54 years of prison time after being convicted of narcotics offenses by a jury in Indiana County Court.

Roderick Ejuan Jones, 38, was found guilty Tuesday of nine charges, including five felonies, stemming from the discovery of a marijuana garden, cocaine and narcotic pills at a mobile home in Cherryhill Township.

A state police vice unit and members of the Army National Guard uncovered the operation Aug. 30, 2012, at 1384 South Harmony Road, according to prosecutors.

Investigators in an aircraft spotted the plants growing in a fenced back yard at the mobile home. Armed with a search warrant, state police were let into the mobile home by the owner, who lives next door, and found additional pot plants growing in two rooms that had been converted and equipped for growing marijuana, police charged.

Troopers seized 150 live marijuana plants, about 1.5 ounces of cocaine and 12 dihydrocodeinone pills from the residence and filed charges in April against Jones and a codefendant, James Drennen, of Homer City.

State police learned both had leased the property, but were told by the owner that Drennen lived there and Jones paid the rent, according to the charging documents.

Drennen was exonerated of the charges against him by District Judge George Thachik following a preliminary hearing in September.

Jones, who was represented by attorney Carmen Robinson, of Pittsburgh, was tried beginning Monday before Judge Thomas Bianco.

District Attorney Patrick Dougherty reported the jury found Jones guilty of manufacture of 150 live marijuana plants, conspiracy to raise the plants, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, intent to deliver dihydrocodeinone and intent to delivery cocaine, all felonies. Jones also was convicted of possessing marijuana, cocaine and dihydrocodeinone by a person not registered, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

A medical reference website reports dihydrocodeinone, a form of hydrocodone, is a semisynthetic opioid analgesic similar to but more active than codeine.

Jones is scheduled to appear for sentencing on May 19 and faces maximum sentences of 20 years in prison and a $200,000 fine for intent to deliver cocaine, terms of 10 years and fines of $50,000 for marijuana production and intent to deliver marijuana, and 14 years in prison for charges related to the narcotic pills.

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