, Salem, MA

January 31, 2014

Topsfield police seize 78 pot plants

By Terri Ogan
Staff Writer

---- — TOPSFIELD — Topsfield police successfully executed a search warrant in a recent drug investigation on Wednesday and arrested two suspects involved in a highly sophisticated marijuana cultivation operation on Central Street, police said.

Lani Soo Aldrich, 39, and Robert Whittington, 36, both of 130 Central St., were arrested on charges of conspiracy to violate the controlled substances act, possession of a class C substance (butane honey oil) with intent to distribute, manufacturing of a class C substance (butane honey oil), possession of a class D substance (marijuana) with intent to distribute and cultivation of a class D substance. Butane honey oil is a cannabis extract manufactured in an extremely hazardous procedure using butane as a solvent.

Seized from the suspects’ home were more than 18 pounds of marijuana, more than one pound of butane honey oil and 78 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, some of which were about 4 feet tall, according to a statement from Topsfield police.

In addition to the drugs, police also confiscated a large amount of equipment used in cultivation, manufacturing and distribution of the narcotics.

Aldrich and Whittington were arraigned at Ipswich District Court yesterday and are being held pending bail.

Terri Ogan can be reached at 978-338-2660, via email at or on Twitter @terriogan.