Man pleads guilty to felony drug chargePublished 10:32am Thursday, March 15, 2012
A 66-year-old rural Kiester man found with a marijuana growing operation inside his home last year pleaded guilty last week to felony drug possession.agree
Patrick Michael Marley entered the plea on March 5 in Faribault County District Court and was sentenced to up to five years probation by Faribault County District Judge Douglas Richards.
Richards also ordered Marley pay a fine of $1,085 and adhere to a series of conditions.
According to the Faribault County Register, Marley admitted in court to growing the plants for medicinal purposes and noted he is nearing the completion of a 20-day chemical treatment program at Region’s Hospital in St. Paul.
Richards ordered Marley not possess or use alcohol or controlled substances and that he comply with random testing to prove this. He must also follow the recommendations of a chemical dependency evaluation.
According to court documents, authorities in February 2011 found 32 marijuana plants growing in Marley’s basement, along with bags of harvested marijuana, a scale and other drug paraphernalia.
The search was conducted after Faribault County deputies received a tip about a possible marijuana growing operation at the house, 6335 570th Ave., Kiester.
After receiving the tip, a deputy obtained power records for Marley’s house and found that energy consumption for the house was found to be three to four times that of a similarly sized residence. Thermal imaging was also conducted at the property, which indicated it “was likely a marijuana growing operation was taking place,” according to court records.
Based on these factors, deputies moved forward with a search of the property.
Marley was inside the house with one other person at the time of the search.