2015-09-22 / News

Anonymous Tip Leads to Arrest of Walton Man

Lillian Browne
Online Editor

William PicinichWilliam PicinichWALTON - A Walton man was arrested on drug charges on Sept. 15 following an anonymous tip received by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office. Subsequent to the tip, deputies enlisted the assistance of the New York State Police Aviation Division and Community Narcotics Enforcement Unit (CNET) to perform aerial surveillance of a county Route 23 property which ultimately resulted in the arrest of William J. Picinich, age 53. He was charged with unlicensed growing of cannabis, unlawful possession of marijuana and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

A warranted search of Picinich’s property by deputies, troopers and Delaware County Probation officers yielded four marijuana plants and Suboxone.

The crimes charged do not rise to the felony level. Instead they are a violation of the law and misdemeanor charges. A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail, if the person accused of the crime is convicted, and violation is punishable by a fine.

Delaware County Undersheriff Craig DuMond responded to questions regarding the charges. “As law enforcement, we have a job to do and until the law is changed, we will continue to do our job,” he said. “We are all aware that we have significant problems with drugs in this state and throughout the country. We are working day and night to stop drug dealers from ruining our communities.”

The potential exists for marijuana to act as a “gateway” drug which could lead to more serious drug use, he said. “Anyone who tries to minimize any type of illicit drug activity that devastates our families and communities, is unwise.”

DuMond said the partnership that has been formed between law enforcement and the public through anonymous tips, was instrumental in the arrest.

Picinich was issued an appearance ticket directing him to appear in the Walton Town Court on Sept. 23 to answer the charges.

In a related matter, DuMond announced that Delaware County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation of another marijuana grow operation that was located by New York State Police pilots and CNET investigators, on Sept. 15, near the intersection of Tedle Brook and Quaker Hill roads in Harpersfield which was also identified by following an anonymous tip.

A warranted search of the Harpersfield property yielded 29 large marijuana plants, but no arrests have been made in that case, according to DuMond. “We have identified the property owner, but at this time, do not believe the property owner is involved,” he said.

The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office urges anyone that may have information concerning the person or persons responsible for growing marijuana in the area of the Tedle Brook and Quaker Hill Road intersection in Harpersfield to call the sheriff’s office tip hotline at 888-914-9111.

In a press release issued Sept. 17, DuMond said, “You can make a difference. Your calls and the information you provide will help protect your families and communities from the dangers of this gateway drug.”

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