Two Charged in Westport Marijuana Parties Linked to Hell’s Angels
WESTPORT — Two people are facing charges after Westport Police execute warrants on properties related to marijuana festivals in the town.
Police say Between the Rows LLC, a craft cannabis co-op in Westport, for weeks had been advertising marijuana parties on August 26 and October 20 to be held at a plot of land at 560 American Legion Highway. The property is owned by Thomas Barreira Sr., and abuts the Town of Westport's Russel Davis Youth Soccer Field.
On August 26th, Between the Rows hosted a marijuana "Farm Sesh" party on Barreira's property. The event was advertised and admittance was gained by purchasing a ticket for $30. Police say advertising for the event also indicated that food and vendors would be available on-site and the first 50 guests would receive a goody bag.
On that date, Westport Police arrested an impaired driver returning home from the party. The driver had in his possession an amount of marijuana from one of the vendors at "Farm Sesh."
Following the August party, police say Between the Rows began advertising for their next party, "Farm Sesh 2.0," on October 20. Similar to the first marijuana party, tickets would be sold, food would be made available, and a DAB bar would also be given to each attendant.
Westport Police say DAB bars can yield THC levels of up to 90%, well above the 22-24% THC content the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission allows in marijuana plants. DAB bars have also been known to contain traces of Fentanyl. Additionally, the chemicals used to produce DAB bars are illegal in Massachusetts.
Police also noted that any type of advertisement, promotion, or ticket sales of any type for marijuana-themed events is illegal in Massachusetts. Money in exchange for food or other goods at marijuana parties is also illegal in the state.
Based on the preliminary information, Westport Police, along with investigators from area departments, Massachusetts State Police, and the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, began an investigation into the Between the Rows LLC marijuana parties. Investigators obtained search warrants for 566 and 576 American Legion Highway.
The search warrants were executed on September 24th, with investigators finding marijuana plants in excess of the legal limit on the properties. Authorities found a total of 19 marijuana plants.
During the execution of the warrant, Averyl and Nathan Andrade, the wife and husband that are two managing partners of Between the Rows LLC, arrived at the property. Averyl explained to investigators that some of the marijuana plants belonged to Healthy Futures Farm and Between the Rows, while others were the personal property of a third managing partner of Between the Rows, Jill Harris. Averyl also disclosed that she had additional marijuana plants at her New Bedford home.
Under state law, recreational marijuana growers can grow six plants per person and up to twelve per household if growers live on the property.
Averyl also told investigators that she uses the entire marijuana plant for production, including the stem and the leaves. Westport Police say while the stems and leaves of the plant can be used for the manufacture of salves, ointments, and edibles, it is also the most frequently used technique to manufacture marijuana DABs.
Westport Police say Averyl Andrade will be charged with illegal cultivation and conspiracy to distribute marijuana. She was immediately arrested on charges of a motor vehicle warrant and driving with a suspended license.
Police say the properties where the search warrants were executed have a sign with a red and white "81" at the entrance. Westport Police say the colors and the number 81 represent the Hell's Angels Outlaw Motorcycle group.