PEABODY — A couple from Maine are facing marijuana charges after state troopers, responding to a minor two-vehicle crash on Route 1 in Peabody Friday afternoon, discovered more than 13 pounds of marijuana, 700 vape cartridges and 40 bags of cannabis edibles in the couple's SUV.
Heath Greenwald, 43, of Old Orchard Beach, and Katelyn Martel, 21, of Biddeford, are being held on $10,000 bail each following their arraignments in Peabody District Court on Monday. They pleaded not guilty to charges of possession with intent to distribute Class C and Class D drugs.
A lawyer for the pair, Richard Doyle Jr., said that Martel is a licensed medical marijuana provider and that Greenwald owns the business she runs, listed in court papers as Emerald Creations LLC.
But prosecutor Taylor Lovely argued that the amount of marijuana found in the couple's Ford Escape after the crash was well over the eight pounds allowed to a medical marijuana provider under Maine law.
In addition to the 13 pounds of marijuana divided among 36 plastic bags, troopers found several additional canisters of the drug, as well as seven boxes containing 100 cartridges each of THC concentrate used in vaping devices, and the edible cannabis products, the prosecutor said, citing a state trooper's report.
Lovely also noted that Greenwald recently completed a federal prison sentence for his role in a heroin and cocaine trafficking ring, and has been on supervised release in that case.
The crash, reported just before 1:30 p.m. Friday, was described as a minor fender bender, and troopers were assisting the drivers with the exchange of paperwork when they discovered that Greenwald's license to drive in Massachusetts has been suspended for more than a decade, something he acknowledged. He did have a Maine driver's license, however, though it appears he may have been using a different date of birth on that license than the one shown in Massachusetts records, according to the police report. Greenwald was arrested initially for driving after license suspension.
Troopers noticed partially-open duffel bags in the back seat of the Escape and took a look, discovering the items.
While marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, the amount one individual is allowed to possess at any given time is limited.
Martel said she is licensed to have up to eight pounds at a time in Maine.
Lovely asked Peabody District Court Judge Richard Mori to increase Greenwald's bail to $100,000, citing his record and his out of state ties.
The couple's lawyer, Doyle, argued for a reduction in the $10,000 bail set on Friday by an assistant clerk magistrate, suggesting Martel be released on personal recognizance and Greenwald on no more than $1,000 bail.
"They will come back to court," Doyle told the judge. Doyle also suggested that the couple didn't realize the drugs were in the back seat, telling the judge they own more than one vehicle.
Mori, who expressed surprise that Greenwald could be involved in the distribution of medical marijuana despite a criminal record and felony convictions — something that would not be allowed in Massachusetts — maintained the bail for both at $10,000 each.
A pretrial hearing was set for Sept. 11.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.