Police say siblings operated drug factory

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck police say a brother and sister were operating a drug factory out of a Lantern Park condominium complex until officers broke it up Monday afternoon.

A parole officer called police in the morning to check on the status of his client, Greg Ballester, a 34-year-old felon who lives at 33-5 Ridge Road. The parole officer told police he heard there were several people frequently coming and going from the condo.

Police and the parole officer went to the house Monday where they noticed what was described as bulk marijuana, between 60 and 70 morphine pills, drug packaging material, a drug scale and a grinder commonly used in illegal drug operations.

Police said they also found a black backpack that appeared to be set up as a “sale kit” in the living room; inside was “bulk marijuana ready to be packaged for individual sale,” scales, packaging materials and a stun gun.

Police searched the condo and learned that Ballester receives several packages a week by UPS and the U.S. Postal Service.

“The packages contained bulk marijuana from California,” a police report states.

Ballester has been known to head into Waterbury to get large quantities of marijuana if he runs out of his own supply, police said. Police said they believe he sells about $1,000 worth of marijuana a week, plus various other drugs.

Police went back to the house with a search warrant at 12:29 p.m. Monday. They said they seized several of the items they saw during their initial cursory search but did not immediately have weight totals as of Tuesday.

During the search, Ballester’s sister, Jesse Ballester, 30, who also lives at the address, showed up at the house. Police said they searched her room and found narcotics and bundles of cash.

They were both charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in a drug factory, illegal sale of a controlled substance, use of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy at all of those charges. Greg Ballester was also charged with criminal possession of an electronic weapon.

Greg Ballester, who is unemployed, had five convictions for drug sales between the years of 2006 and 2014 for cases mostly stemming from Naugatuck and one from Plymouth.

Jesse Ballester, who says she is self-employed in elder care, does not have a criminal record. Both she and her brother say they single and have no children, according to court records.

Jesse Ballester posted a $25,000 surety bond, while Greg Ballester posted a $75,000 surety bond.

Their cases were continued to Feb. 23 at Waterbury Superior Court.

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