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Pot grower's probation criticized by police

AP Wire • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:49 PM

Detective Lt. Robert Sinclair of the state police was reacting to Tuesday's sentencing of Edwin Schmieding, who got an extraordinary break from a federal judge in Detroit.

Instead of prison, the Lenawee County man was placed on supervised release, or probation, for two years. He was arrested in 2011 after an investigation by a police task force in Lenawee and Hillsdale counties. Federal agents subsequently took over the case.

"It does not seem logical or reasonable to sentence a person growing this much marijuana to two years of probation, especially when it obviously was not for personal use but for monetary gain," said Sinclair, commander of the task force. "We will continue to pursue all criminal activity, including illegal marijuana growing operations."

Schmieding, 61, began growing marijuana after raising cut flowers for years. His wife told police they wanted to sell it for use by people approved for medical marijuana, although large-scale production is illegal.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said Schmieding, who is recovering from cancer, deserved a break. The marijuana was not considered to be high quality and many plants were immature.

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