Hearing on pot charges waived

Jeffrey Joe Kirkland, 24, brought back here from Veneta, Ore., to face drug charges for his alleged involvement in a major marijuana distribution ring, has waived his preliminary hearing in the case.

Kirkland, arraigned in late February before District Judge Gary A. Whiteman on charges of corrupt organizations, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, delivery of marijuana and conspiracy, was initially committed to the Lycoming County Prison, but has since been released on $100,000 bail.

A former Pennsylvania College of Technology student, Kirkland is alleged to have been part of scheme in which he mailed from the West Coast very large amounts of marijuana that was sold on the streets here between the summer of 2011 and November 2012, according to state police.

Besides Kirkland, who is now living in the Indiana County borough of Clymer, more than 10 people already have been arrested for their part in the operation which sold more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana throughout Lycoming and Montour counties, police said.