Verizon worker charged with making marijuana delivers with company truck

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MONTICELLO – A Grahamsville man was arrested on Thursday following
a year-long investigation into illegal marijuana cultivation and distribution
in the Town of Fallsburg.

The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office said Ralph Castelli, 48, of
Birch Road was arrested after he was stopped in a Verizon Telephone Company
truck, which had a garbage bag of marijuana plant clippings and packaged
marijuana. He is an employee of that phone company.

Sheriff Michael Schiff said Castelli used his Verizon work truck as a
cover to make deliveries around Sullivan County. Authorities had been
tracking his activities for over the last 12 months.

They believe he was also shipping marijuana to several destinations within
the US via FedEx.

The sheriff’s office, US Homeland Security Investigations and Town
of Fallsburg Police executed a search warrant at 42 Renner Road in Mountaindale
where they found a substantial marijuana growing operation. Authorities
seized 159 plants totaling over 20 pounds along with growing equipment
and fertilizer.

Castelli was charged with felony possession of marijuana and misdemeanor
unlawfully growing cannabis.

He was remanded to the Sullivan County Jail in lieu of $15,000 cash bail
or $25,000 bond.

The district attorney’s office assisted in the investigation and
preparation of the search warrant.