Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

June 29, 2013

Prosecutor: I wanted prison sentence for marijuana farmer

DETROIT (AP) — A light sentence for a farmer caught growing more than 8,000 marijuana plants doesn’t mean it’s “open season” for pot growers, the chief federal prosecutor in eastern Michigan warned Friday.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said she’s disappointed that a judge this week chose to sentence Edwin Schmieding to two years of supervised release, or probation, but respects U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman’s authority to set the punishment.

McQuade said her office wanted a minimum prison sentence of seven years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Barrington Wilkins didn’t push for it in open court after Friedman met privately with attorneys beforehand and signaled he was going to be lenient with Schmieding.

“I don’t want anyone who grows 8,000 plants to think they’re going to get a similar sentence of probation,” McQuade told The Associated Press. “I don’t want anyone to think it’s open season for growing marijuana in Michigan.”

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