A Shelton man charged with running a marijuana grow operation out of his basement after he called 911 to report a home invasion said police responding to his Quaker Ridge Road home had only one objective — putting him behind bars for possessing medical marijuana.
“It immediately turned into a criminal investigation on my part,” 36-year-old William Frascatore said during a phone interview with the Valley Indy Monday, during which he angrily denied growing pot. “(They) did not have any interest in the perpetrators, only on my part.”
Shelton police disagreed, saying they’re actively investigating the home invasion, but that the amount of pot Frascatore had far exceeded the limit for medical use allowable under the law.
Reached Monday by telephone, Frascatore recounted the scary incident Friday morning during which two men broke into his house through an open door.
“They ran around the house like a bunch of idiots,” Frascatore said.
The men did not assault him, he said, but the two claimed they were armed.
Police said Frascatore had told them the robbers tied him up, but he said Monday that wasn’t he case.
The two thieves made off with cash and jewelry.
After the men left, Frascatore said he called 911.
Police responded, he said, and started asking him questions about drugs.
“They just asked me if I had any controlled substances in the house,” Frascatore recalled.
He did — he said he buys and consumes medical marijuana legally under a state law passed in 2012.
“I showed them my (medical marijuana) card,” Frascatore said. “That was their grounds (for the) search and seizure (warrant).”
Frascatore said the only pot he had was what he had bought from his local dispensary for personal use.
He declined to answer questions about his medical condition.
But he said the pot was packaged properly and had “all the stickers on it and all that good stuff, my medical marijuana card number, the whole nine yards.”
Article continues after photo showing the scene Friday afternoon as police investigated.
A prepared statement from police Friday said cops found “several marijuana plants, dried marijuana and grow equipment” in the basement.
Frascatore flatly denied the allegations.
“There was nothing in my home to indicate any such a thing,” he said. “There was absolutely nothing of the sort.”
He said the police arrested him for possessing legal marijuana.
“I felt more victimized by the Shelton Police Department . . . than I did by two guys with supposed guns rummaging through my house and stealing stuff,” Frascatore said.
He said he’s retained a lawyer, but hasn’t decided whether to file a complaint against the police department. He declined to name the lawyer he’s retained.
“I don’t care to comment on that any further,” he said.
Shelton Police Detective Richard Bango said Monday that Frascatore did show cops his medical marijuana card.
He also showed them pot that he had purchased legally.
Problem, though — Frascatore is entitled to have only 2.5 ounces of marijuana, Bango said.
Police found more than 16 times that amount.
Bango said the final tally of all the marijuana found in the home came to about 40.7 ounces — or roughly two and a half pounds.
Shelton police on Monday also released a probable cause report detailing the allegations against Frascatore.
It says Frascatore admitted growing marijuana when questioned by cops — who had asked about it because of a “strong odor” they noticed while sweeping the home for suspects.
The report details a sophisticated pot-growing operation, complete with grow lights, a “portable greenhouse,” a scale, clippers, and several plants in various stages of growth.
“He was definitely growing it,” Bango said.
He said that while detectives are actively investigating the home invasion — and asked anyone with information to reach out to police at 203-924-1544 — they couldn’t ignore the illegal activity they found while investigating it.
Frascatore is due at Superior Court in Derby Jan. 22 to face charges of cultivation of marijuana, operating a drug factory, possession of more than four ounces of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, use of drug paraphernalia, and two counts of risk of injury to a minor.
He has posted $25,000 bond in the case.