Drug raid nets 211 plants

LEWISTOWN – The Mifflin County Drug Task Force recently seized 211 marijuana plants and 22 firearms from a residence in Decatur Township.

Rupert B. Rapp III, 37, has been charged with multiple felony counts under the controlled substance act and remains incarcerated in the Mifflin County Correctional Facility in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Mifflin County District Attorney Dave Molek said the task force utilized a confidential informant to purchase marijuana from Rapp.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Remy, who leads the task force, said the informant allegedly bought a quarter-pound of marijuana from Rapp, which led to the issuance of a search warrant at Rapp’s home located at 55 Rapp Drive.

“This is a major investigation that is the culmination of a lot of good work by members of the Mifflin County Drug Task Force, which includes officers from the Lewistown Police Department,” LPD Chief William Herkert said.

Herkert said this is a case where the tips from citizens combined with a lot of investigative hours by officers, resulted in the execution of a search warrant and the seizing of large quantities of illegal drugs that would have been sold directly in the community.

“I thank all the officers involved for their work on this case and what they do every day to keep drugs away from our citizens and children,” Herkert said.

When interviewed by police, Rapp admitted to selling marijuana, which he had been doing since February to make money, according to court documents.

Mifflin County Detective Craig Snyder said Rapp’s growing operation was located in a room attached to the defendant’s bedroom.

Snyder said the plants were at varying stages of growth, 33 of which were at least two feet high.

“For our county, this is the largest grow operation we’ve encountered in a number of years,” Remy said.

Snyder said that in addition to the plants, the task force also found additional marijuana inside and outside the home in varying sizes of bags.

Molek said the task force determined Rapp was not only growing marijuana, but he was also purchasing it from a supplier.

Snyder said the weight and value of marijuana has yet to be determined, however, it’s potentially worth “tens of thousands of dollars.”

Remy said they have filed a temporary restraining order to preserve Rapp’s property and there will be further civil forfeiture proceedings in the future.

Remy said if convicted, Rapp could potentially face a mandatory minimum sentence which is attached to these types offenses due to the presence of firearms in the area the marijuana was found and due to the total weight of the drugs seized.

LPD and MCDTF were assisted by Mifflin County Regional Police Department and Pennsylvania State Police Lewistown.