LOCK HAVEN - The Office of the Attorney General has started asset forfeiture proceedings against the property of a 73-year-old, retired local university professor accused of growing marijuana plants at his Mill Hall area home.
The civil action filed by state officials means that Lawrence "Larry" Lebin, of 169 Gwynned Wynd Road, Lock Haven, could lose his homestead before his guilt or innocence has been determined.
Lawrence "Larry" Lebin, of 169 Gwynned Wynd Road, Lock Haven, has not yet appeared for a preliminary hearing on his charges, and his case has not yet reached the level of formal arraignment in the Clinton County Court of Common Pleas.
Lebin, who taught at Lock Haven University for nearly 40 years before retiring in 2002, was arrested in September after law enforcement officials searched his property off Route 120 north of the city and allegedly seized more than 130 marijuana plants, guns, cash and more.
District Attorney Mike Salisbury and Deputy Attorney General David Gorman, of the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation in State College, are prosecuting the case.
Lebin's attorney is Richard Galloway.
The government can civilly take property by a "preponderance of the evidence" showing that the property is related to a crime and subject to forfeiture, a standard significantly lower than the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard required for a criminal conviction.
For the full story, see today's print edition of The Express.