May 11, 2018

Millbury family-owned plumbing firm was front for drug operation

A Millbury plumbing business not only helped unclog pipes and drains, but also illegally grew more than 1,000 marijuana plants at a time, federal prosecutors say.

Three members of the Laverty family and operators of plumbing company Chuck Laverty & Sons Inc. were indicted Thursday for using that business to cover up their illegal pot operation. Thomas Laverty, 38, of Clinton; Charles Laverty, 61, of Millbury; and Andrea Laverty, 61, of Millbury, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to manufacture more than 1,000 marijuana plants and one count of conspiracy to launder money.

Thomas and Charles also face charges of manufacturing of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. The former is also charged with theft of government funds related to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

The indictment comes after all three were charged by a criminal complaint in October.

According to prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office for Massachusetts, investigators found a commercial-style grow operation at the business' warehouse, which is attached to Thomas Laverty's residence.

More than 1,00 plants were discovered. At his parents' residence, agents found a large quantity of plants being dried and processed in addition to another grow operation.

According to state business records on file with the Secretary of State's office, the plumbing business was incorporated in 2013.

The family operated three other businesses, but all have been dissolved since 2012, according to records.

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