The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 22, 2014

First responders report ‘marijuana growing operation’

JOHNSTOWN — A Nanty Glo man was overcome by chemical fumes as he was reportedly trying to unclog his toilet on Jan. 14.

When firefighters and an emergency medical unit arrived at the home in the 100 block of Loraine Road, they found something other than a clogged toilet.

There was a “marijuana growing operation,” Jackson Township police Chief Phil Vaught said.

Police charged Richard Scott Wiedenhoeft, 52, on Jan. 16 with a variety of drug charges.

He was arraigned by District Judge Mary Ann Zanghi, who set bond at 10 percent of $75,000.

Police said they seized 60 pot plants, several scales, growing lights, smoking pipes, potting soil, a large green plastic bag full of marijuana and six bags of packaged marijuana.

Wiedenhoeft was treated at Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown for inhaling a powerful drain cleaner.

Police said they had to wait

20 minutes before entering the home because of the smell of strong chemicals.

Vaught reported that Wiedenhoeft said he was attempting to unclog the toilet.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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