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Bail set for Irwin man accused of having 35 pounds of marijuana, 400 vape cartridges

November 15, 2018

A Westmoreland County judge set bail at $100,000 Friday for an Irwin man who has been held in the Westmoreland County Prison for two weeks without bond since his arrest on drug charges.

Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio ordered that Zachary Morton, 31, be on pretrial services if he is able to post that amount. She also ordered another hearing during which Morton would have to prove that any money used to post bail, if he is able to, is not from the proceeds of drug activity.

Morton was arrested Oct. 11 after police found about 35 pounds of marijuana and more than 400 cannabis cartridges for vape pens at his home and in his sport-utility vehicle. He was pulled over on Route 30 eastbound in Hempfield after police said he ran a red light.

He originally was jailed without bond.

Attorney Kevin Zinski argued Friday that Morton’s family lives in Irwin and he has a college education and a real estate license. He suggested a bail of $25,000 or $50,000.

“He’s not a threat or danger to society,” he said.

Assistant District Attorney Adam Barr requested Bilik-DeFazio set bail at $150,000. Based on the allegations, Morton could be looking at a sentence in a state prison, if convicted, Barr said.

“The weight of the drugs are concerning to me,” Barr said.

Authorities also seized 2 ounces of cocaine, 1 pound of marijuana wax, body armor, cash, mushrooms, paraphernalia and about 16 guns he owned legally. Marijuana wax is a potent, concentrated form of THC, the chemical in marijuana that affects the brain. The cartridges also contain THC and can be medically prescribed but can be purchased illegally for less money.

A preliminary hearing on numerous drug charges is set for Nov. 21.

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