Mass. man: Lawyer parents knew I was drug dealer
NATICK, Mass. — Two prominent attorneys are under police scrutiny after their son, arrested on charges he was dealing marijuana from home, told investigators his parents knew what he was doing. Police found a small smoking pipe, scale and baggies in their bedroom.
Jonathon Cook, 20, said his stepfather, Suffolk University law professor Timothy Wilton, helped him build a place to grow marijuana in exchange for some of the profits and also smoked it in the house, according to a police report.
He said that his mother, Kathy Jo Cook — the former president of the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts — also knew about the drug activity and frequently complained that her husband’s smoking left the house smelling like marijuana, authorities said.
The parents have not been charged. Their lawyer, Bruce Singal, said they adamantly deny the accusations, which he called “reckless and ill-conceived.”
Natick police Chief Nick Mabardy said police are investigating Cook’s claims.
“It’s a statement that he made. It’s up to us to investigate to see whether it’s true,” Mabardy said.
Authorities said they found a small smoking pipe in a dresser drawer in the parents’ bedroom, a scale and several baggies in the bedroom and another pipe in a closet in an office only they use. The pipes had burnt residue that had “the same odor and appearance as burnt marijuana,” according to the police report.
Investigators found 15 individually packaged bags of marijuana in Jonathon Cook’s bedroom, along with $700 in cash and a shotgun, according to a police report.
Jonathon Cook, who has a criminal record dating back to when he was 13, was ordered held on $50,000 bail on drug and weapons charges.
George Keches, an attorney who worked with Kathy Jo Cook for 12 years, called the son’s allegations “absurd.”
“I know when she was here, she did everything in the world to help her son, from a mental health perspective. I know he was a troubled young man,” Keches said.
Jonathon Cook was arrested Friday after an undercover investigation. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of a gun without a permit and having drugs near a school.
After his arrest, Cook told police his parents knew that he was selling drugs out of their home, and that his stepfather built a “grow closet” for marijuana plants. They agreed to split the proceeds of sales from the plants, Cook said.
Cook also said his stepfather bought marijuana from him, occasionally stole it from him and “constantly smoked marijuana,” according to the police report.
“He said that Mr. Wilton walks around the house smoking marijuana and his mother gets upset at him because the house smells like marijuana,” police wrote in the report.
On July 31, Cook was shot in the hand during a home invasion that police believe was tied to the drug operation. He told police after his arrest that he waited 30 minutes to call police because his mother ordered him and his stepfather to get rid of the marijuana plants.
He described his mother as “having a fit” and said “they took the five plants out of the closet and burnt them in the fire pit in the back yard,” the police report said.
Wilton, 62, got his law degree from Harvard University and was the litigation director of the Prisoners Rights Project in Boston before joining the Suffolk University Law School in 1984. He teaches classes in constitutional law, civil procedure and evidence.
Kathy Jo Cook, a civil litigator specializing in medical malpractice, product liability and personal injury cases, was president of the Women’s Bar Association for one year beginning in March 2008.
She put herself through college and the Suffolk law school while raising several children, Keches said. She and Wilton married at least a decade ago, and each brought several children to the marriage, he said.
The family lives in a renovated house near the Charles River in an upscale neighborhood in Natick, about 20 miles west of Boston.
Cook and Wilton did not immediately return messages left Wednesday at their home and offices.
Jonathon Cook’s attorney, John Osler, declined to comment on Cook’s claims about his parents’ involvement.
A spokesman for Suffolk University Law School declined to comment.