On Monday, Dec. 6, Northampton County District Attorney Terry Houck announced charges against 28-year-old Justin Hutson after police observed an indoor greenhouse in his Lower Nazareth residence, along with multiple containers of packaging materials and six firearms.
Hutson is charged with five counts of Persons Not to Possess, Use, Manufacture, Control, Sell or Transfer Firearms, two counts of Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance, two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, and one count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
On Saturday, Dec. 4, police responded to a call shortly before 8:30 p.m. at 4158 Newburg Rd., Lower Nazareth for a male detoxing from methamphetamine and acting out.
Upon arrival, police spoke with Hutson’s wife, who stated he returned home from the hospital that afternoon after being treated for a methamphetamine overdose the night prior. Police then made contact with Hutson, who was incoherent. Hutson was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
While standing in the room where Hutson was located, police smelled a strong odor of marijuana, and observed a large black canvas indoor greenhouse in plain view. The greenhouse was equipped with heat lamps and a running exhaust system.
Hutson’s wife consented to a search of the residence, where officers found four cannabis plants located in their own planter inside the greenhouse. In addition, police found a Tupperware shelf in the same room, which contained a large amount of empty, unused vape cartridges; 15 plastic vacuum-sealed bags containing a large amount of marijuana and 35 small baggies containing marijuana; several containers with a large amount of packaging materials and a digital scale; and a package addressed to Justin Hutson containing a large amount of more plastic packaging baggies.
Officers located a large amount of USPS shipping labels inside one of the containers, and several glass jars containing a yellow/green thick liquid. Various other pieces of paraphernalia and vape accessories were found, including an electric burner with oil residue. Several pieces of greenhouse equipment were also located including fans, exhaust systems, and lights.
In the adjacent room, identified as Hutson’s bedroom, police found a ziplock back containing marijuana, and six firearms. Hutson’s wife provided police the key to the safe in which the firearms were located, which was located on Hutson’s car key ring.
The firearms included three shotguns, an AR-15 pistol “ghost gun,” an unknown caliber pistol “ghost gun,” and a .380 Spectrum. All firearms, expect one which was registered to Hutson’s wife, had either no registered owner or no serial number.
In the basement, police found additional paraphernalia on a shelf and a large amount of vape cartridges filled with a yellow/green liquid in a freezer. More paraphernalia was found in the garage.
Through investigation, police verified Hutson’s identity and discovered he had previous convictions in 2012 of felony burglary and felony theft. Those convictions classify Hutson as a person not to possess a firearm.
“Colonial Regional Police acted quickly in investigating and arresting in this case. Not only did they discover a drug selling operation, but untraceable guns were recovered that, if put in circulation, could have had disastrous results. Excellent work,” said District Attorney Houck.
Hutson was arraigned Monday morning and bail was set at $150,000. Hutson is currently in Northampton County Prison, with a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for December 20.
As in every criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Submitted by County of Northampton, Office of District Attorney