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Brookline trio face marijuana charges

Brookline police discovered a large stash of suspected marijuana and $117,000 in cash in a Freeman Street apartment building last week after being tipped off by California authorities that a shipment was being sent to the town.

Three suspects, one a student at Boston University and another studying at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, are facing drug charges after claiming packages of marijuana sent from California, Brookline police said.

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An officer from the drug task force of the Sacramento police called Brookline police to alert them that a package with 4 to 5 pounds of marijuana had been sent to a tenant of the Dexter Park apartment complex, accord­ing to Brookline police.

Police went to the building on Wednesday and spoke with a security officer in the lobby who said several packages had been sent to a person who did not live there.

The officer also said the packages had been picked up by two tenants, police said.

Jesse Pomponio, 24, one of the tenants and a BU student, pleaded not guilty in Brookline District Court Friday to charges of possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute drugs within a park zone, referring to nearby Winthrop Park. Pomponio also has an open case on charges of operating under the influence out of ­Orleans District Court, said Norfolk district attorney spokesman David Traub.

Trevor Powell, 24, was also charged with possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute drugs within a park zone, Brookline police Lieutenant Philip Harrington said Monday.

Powell also pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Friday. Harrington said that ­Powell was not a student.

Alex Zhang, 23, the other student, was also charged with possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute drugs within a park zone.

At his arraignment Monday, Zhang pleaded not guilty and was ­released on personal recognizance, authorities said.

Officers executed a search warrant at the Freeman Street address and found $117,000 and 10 to 15 pounds of marijuana, police said. Police said they are looking for a fourth suspect.

Pomponio, Powell, and Zhang will return to court on Dec. 12.

Globe correspondent Jeremy C. Fox contributed to this report. Melissa Werthmann
can be reached at melissa.
werthmann@globe.com
. Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at sarah.mattero@globe.com.
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