Hearing postponed for man growing pot from prison

Pa. inmate, Robert G. Henry, is accused of running a marijuana growing operation from his jail cell

By Vicky Taylor
Public Opinion

FANNETTSBURG, Pa. — A preliminary hearing for a Fannettsburg man accused of directing a marijuana growing and distribution operation from his Cumberland County jail cell was postponed Tuesday, but one co-defendant gave up her right to a hearing in Franklin County Central Court.

Hearings for Robert G. Henry, 50, and another co-defendant, Karen L. Sheaffer, 47, of Fannettsburg, were postponed until April 27.

Cynthia D. Ritchie, 56, also of Fannettsburg, waived her preliminary hearing Tuesday on several drug-related charges.

Henry gained notoriety last year by claiming he used marijuana for religious purposes, a defense rejected by a Cumberland County judge during a bench trial on drug possession charges. Henry began serving a nine- to 23-month sentence in Cumberland County Prison in September.

When reporting to prison in Carlisle, Henry allegedly left his plants in the care of Sheaffer and Ritchie, according to an affidavit filed in the Franklin County case.

Henry was charged with two counts of conspiracy to possess, manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, two counts of possession, manufacture or deliver a controlled substance and two counts of use and/or possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sheaffer was charged with two counts of conspiracy, two counts of use and/or possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of possession with the intent to manufacture and/or deliver a controlled substance.

Their new preliminary hearing dates have been set for April 27.

Ritchie was charged with manufacture of a controlled substance, conspiracy and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

Ritchie's formal arraignment has been scheduled for May 26 in Franklin County Court.

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