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LEICESTER- An early morning check last Friday by police on a report of nonstop barking by dogs at a Pleasant Street house led to the arrest of two people living there on a variety of drug charges.

David M. Lomax, 36, and Dawn Fitzgerald, 31, of 355 Pleasant St., were arraigned Monday in Western Worcester District Court in East Brookfield on charges of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, committing a drug violation near a school or park, conspiracy to violate the controlled substance act and cultivating and manufacturing marijuana. They are scheduled to appear in the East Brookfield court for pretrial conferences Sept.11, a court spokesman said.

Police Chief James J. Hurley said a 15-year-old and 16-year-old are also facing the same charges and that they will be summonsed into Worcester Juvenile Court soon.

The incident started just before 1:30 a.m. Friday when Officers Ronald Tarentino and Michael Kemp went to investigate a complaint that two dogs at 355 Pleasant St. had been barking nonstop. The person who called police also said that when he went to the house he noticed that it "was wide open" and that the residents had not been seen for some time.

The police officers checked both dogs and the house to make sure it had not been broken into, Chief Hurley said. As they checked inside of the home they spotted an undisclosed amount of marijuana in "plain view." They left the house and contacted police investigators and later in the day Leicester police got a search warrant for the home. The officers, armed with the search warrant, went back to the house and were in the process of collecting evidence when Mr. Lomax and Ms. Fitzgerald arrived and they were taken into custody.

Police seized several ounces of marijuana and hashish, a scale, baggies, marijuana grinder, about $850 in cash, marijuana seeds, several pot plants in poor condition, a grow light, peat moss, and marijuana growing instructions, Chief Hurley said yesterday.

In addition to Officers Tarentino and Kemp, Sgt. Joseph Fontaine, and Officers Derrick Ruth and Daniel Dyson assisted in the investigation. Personnel from the district attorney's office and the Regional Drug and Countercrime Task Force also assisted, according to the Leicester police press release.
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