Thomas J. Franzen, from suburban Chicago, was handed four years in prison after he ordered 42 pounds of marijuana-infused chocolate from California with the intent of selling it, said Kane County state’s attorney’s office in a statement.
Furthermore, the 37-year-old pleaded guilty to the possession of 5,000 grams of cannabis – a felony that besides carrying a fine of up to $25,000 can land a person for up to 15 years in jail.
The police got to know of Franzen’s shenanigans when some postal workers reported a pattern of suspicious packages being delivered to Franzen’s home in Montgomery, Illinois. After getting hold of a search warrant to open a package, the officials found more than 19,000 grams of THC-infused-chocolate.
Franzen’s home was then searched further, revealing cocaine and more than 100 grams of marijuana. Besides this, other ‘drug dealing’ evidence was also recovered, including a digital scale, postal receipts for packages he had allegedly mailed to locations across the U.S. and Canada and over $2,000 in cash.
His attorney, David Camic, however, said that his client was using the recovered marijuana for battling testicular cancer.
“Because of Mr. Franzen’s medical condition, our office reduced a 12-year mandatory minimum sentence to 4 years, of which he is supposed to serve only 2, despite enough evidence that Mr. Franzen is a drug dealer,” Joe McMahon, Kane County State’s Attorney, said in a statement.
Interestingly, Franzen’s sentence came just a day prior to the Illinois Legislature’s nod to legalize adult-use marijuana. Notably, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has pledged to sign the law, which would come into effect on January 1, 2020.
Joe McMahon highlighted the fact that the marijuana-laced products recovered from Mr. Franzen’s home far exceeded what was required for personal use; and moreover, they were not bought from a licensed medical marijuana business, in spite of the state program being into force for several years now.
Reportedly, Franzen will now appear in court on June 14 with the medical test results, which will decide the period and the starting date of his sentence.