The thousands of marijuana plants seized at a Savoy house last year are one thing to police and prosecutors: Grounds for felony trafficking charges.
To lawyers for two New York men charged in the case, those plants are something else: “fruits” of an illegal search.
In August 2020, state police arrested Yebin Mai and Bin Huang in what they described as a large-scale illegal cannabis-growing operation, after authorities seized 3,598 plants that they said would be worth $3 million on the street.
SAVOY — It was a year ago this coming week that utility workers happened upon odd doings in a house up a long driveway in Savoy.
This summer, Mai’s attorney, Russell L. Chin, filed a motion in Berkshire Superior Court to suppress evidence and statements by his client.
A hearing on that motion, and other issues related to the case, is set for 2 p.m. Nov. 3. The defendants also are seeking to have the case separated into two.
Chin’s motion claims that troopers did not have grounds to search the 72 Jackson Road home’s yard on the day of the response. He also wrote that the search warrant police later obtained is invalid, because it was based on an initial search that was illegal.
Huang is now represented by attorney Neil F. Faigel, according to court records.
Both defendants had to give up their passports. They will be provided with Mandarin interpreters in court.
The eventual jury trial in Berkshire Superior Court is expected to run two to three days, court documents say. The felony charge is based on the assertion, by state police working out of the Cheshire barracks, that the crop produced in Savoy would have amounted to more than 100 pounds of cannabis but less than 2,000 pounds.
The plants seized weighed 560 pounds, according to state police.