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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 16, 2010

$16K in weed plants, police say
Guilderland man collared for pot possession

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — A Guilderland resident was arrested on Sept. 9, for felony possession of marijuana, and sent to jail without bail.

Michael A. Passiglia, 50, of 6 Westlyn Court, was arrested by the Albany County Sheriff’s Department after an anonymous caller reported him on a tip line.

“We probably get five calls a day on the tip line, but some of them are drunks, or prank calls; we recognized Passiglia’s name, so we jumped on that tip,” said Investigator John Burke. Officers recognized the name because Passiglia is a convicted felon; he was arrested several times for marijuana possession and also for cocaine sale, police say.

The anonymous caller said that Passiglia, who works as a mechanic for the state’s canal system in Waterford, was bringing marijuana to work and selling it. In response to the tip, police set up surveillance outside of Passiglia’s home, and saw him place a bag in the trunk of his car as he was leaving for work, Burke said.

Police stopped Passiglia as he pulled away from his house, Burke said, and found that the bag contained marijuana.

After his arrest, police got a search warrant for Passiglia’s Guilderland home, and discovered he had more than one pound of marijuana; a digital scale and Baggies; 62 Stanozolol steroid pills; seven vials of human growth hormone; eight marijuana plants; and a loaded 12-guage shotgun, according to the sheriff’s department. Passiglia is prohibited from owning a shotgun because he is a convicted felon.

“This guy was selling all kinds of stuff. He’d sell someone a hot stove if they wanted it,” Burke said. In addition to growing and selling marijuana, Passiglia was buying marijuana from an unknown source, Burke said. Each of the eight plants Passiglia was growing could be worth up to $2,000, depending on the quality of the marijuana, he said.

The charges against Passiglia include second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a Class D felony; seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor; fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a Class A misdemeanor; unlawfully growing cannabis without a license, a Class A misdemeanor; and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.

Passiglia was arraigned before Judge John Bailey in Guilderland Town Court, and was sent to Albany County’s jail without bail.

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