Marijuana 'bricks' found in Home Depot vanities
Police search 12 stores across Massachusetts after a contractor finds 50-pound 'bricks' in a product bought at one store.
(CNN) - Massachusetts police are investigating the discovery of large quantities of drugs found inside merchandise from two Home Depot stores in Massachusetts, local police said Wednesday.
According to the Tewksbury Police Department, a contractor late last week discovered two 50 pound "bricks" of marijuana wrapped in plastic bags inside a bathroom vanity he had purchased at a Home Depot (Research) store in Tewksbury, said Chief of Detectives Lt. Dennis Peterson.
The estimated street value of the marijuana is around $145,000, Peterson said.
Similar incidents have occurred in other parts of the state. According to the Southwick Police Department, a plumber on Monday purchased a vanity in western Massachusetts in which he later found 3 kilograms of cocaine and around 40 pounds of marijuana, with a total estimated street value of $250,000.
Southwick Police Lieutenant David A. Ricardi said the item was purchased at "a local hardware store" but would not confirm it came from Home Depot.
According to Peterson, a third individual discovered large quantities of illegal drugs inside Home Depot merchandise. Peterson would not provide the details of this incident but said it was part of their overall investigation and that they were working with the Southwick Police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Tewksbury Police and DEA officials conducted a search Tuesday of around 12 Home Depot stores statewide and found other bathroom vanities that contained drugs, Peterson said, though he would not elaborate on how many items were discovered.
In each incident being investigated by Tewksbury Police, all of the merchandise boxes originated from a Texas location and were distributed through one undisclosed Massachusetts warehouse, Peterson said.
"I'm sure the packages were being shipped to the distribution center and someone was supposed to intercept them," Peterson said. "So that person either wasn't on duty that day or the packages were marked wrong."
The Southwick and Tewksbury Police Departments both said Home Depot was cooperating fully with their investigations and that no one employed by the company is a suspect at this time. Both departments also said none of the customers who purchased the vanities that contained drugs are suspects.
A Home Depot spokesman could not confirm details of the incidents but said the company is cooperating with the authorities.