Press Releases


RI State Police and Little Compton Police Dismantle Two Marijuana Grow Operations and Make Arrests for Marijuana Distribution and Cultivation Related Charges

Contact: Lieutenant Patrick T. Reilly, Officer-in-Charge, State Police Intelligence Unit Telephone: (401) 444-1329

Contact: Chief Sidney Wordell, Chief of Police, Little Compton Police Department Telephone: (401) 635-2311

Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent, of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and Chief Sidney Wordell of the Little Compton Police Department, announce the arrests of two (2) individuals for marijuana distribution and cultivation related charges.

During the past two months, members of the Rhode Island State Police Intelligence Unit and the Little Compton Police Department have been involved in an investigation pertaining to multiple marijuana growing and distribution operations.

One of the suspects of the investigation was identified as William Maney, age 50 of 1 High Meadow Road in Little Compton. It was learned that Mr. Maney was cultivating marijuana from his residence and that he possessed a marijuana care giver card. Information was developed that led investigators to believe that Mr. Maney was operating outside the scope of the care giver allowances and selling to individuals without a medical marijuana license.

Members of the Rhode Island State Police Intelligence Unit were able to infiltrate Mr. Maney's operation and an undercover State Police Detective was able to effectuate three (3) separate hand-to-hand transactions for marijuana. As a result an affidavit and arrest warrant was issued for three (3) counts of Delivery of Marijuana to a Police Officer. Additionally, a search warrant was signed for his aforementioned residence.

On September 5, 2103, the undercover detective from the Rhode Island State Police Intelligence Unit made a fourth hand-to-hand purchase from Mr. Maney, and he was subsequently arrested in the Town of Tiverton.

The search warrant of Mr. Maney's residence was executed and resulted in the seizure of the following:

Thirty-five (35) marijuana plants (thirty-two inside the residence and three in the back yard) Approximately six hundred and forty grams (25 ounces) of loose marijuana, prepared for sale $10,600 in United States Currency

Mr. Maney was arraigned at the State Police Wickford Barracks before Justice of the Peace Healey and released on $10,000 surety bail in reference to the following charges:

Delivery of Marijuana to a Police Officer (four counts) Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Deliver Cultivation of Marijuana

Members of the investigative team continued to pursue the second residence, 56 Long Highway in Little Compton, which is located in close proximity to Mr. Maney's dwelling. The ensuing investigation determined that no one was living at the house, however activity was observed on a daily basis during the daytime hours.

On September 17, 2013, members executed a search warrant at 56 Long Highway, which resulted in the arrest of a Massachusetts resident that was present and identified as Matthew Cornacchia, age 51, of 160 County Lane, Leominster, Massachusetts. A search revealed that the entire house had been set up and arranged for the marijuana growing operation. The only furniture present in the interior of the dwelling was one couch and a kitchen table. Multiple rooms on all three floors were dedicated exclusively for the various stages of the marijuana cultivation and operational process. The operation was in the process of being dismantled. Numerous plants had been hastily cut down and were packaged for salvage and preparation. Dozens of trash bags were full and scattered about, containing leaves, stems and items used in the growing cultivation process. The following items were seized as a result of the search:

Thirty-two (32) marijuana plants Twenty-two (22) root stems from harvested plants Approximately one hundred (100) pounds of organic marijuana that was cut down and in the manufacturing stage process

Mr. Cornacchia was arraigned in Second Division District Court before The Honorable Associate Judge Colleen M. Hastings and held on $30,000 surety bail in reference to the following charges:

Cultivation of Marijuana Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver Maintaining a Narcotics Nuisance

This investigation is ongoing with additional arrests expected. The successful disruption of the two operations was the result of interagency cooperation between the Rhode Island State Police Intelligence Unit and the Little Compton Police Department.

Related links

Department or agency: Rhode Island State Police


Release date: 09-18-2013

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