Marijuana grower gets 6 years in prison

Feb. 11, 2012 at 5:58 PM

CHICAGO, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- A medical marijuana grower has been sentenced to six years in state prison after police said he was caught with 42 pounds of marijuana at a Chicago home.

Assistant State's Attorney Kevin Sobczyk said Ryan Bailey, a 29-year-old former Chicago mortgage broker who moved to Colorado to grow marijuana for medicinal use, was the ringleader in an operation that shipped the marijuana to a Northwest Chicago home March 9, 2010, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Bailey was sitting near the box delivered by United Parcel Service holding a package of marijuana when officers entered the home, police said. He told police he had flown from Colorado to Chicago that morning.

Richard Beuke, Bailey's attorney, said police failed to directly link Bailey to the box or the home and that his client had been at the "wrong place at the wrong time."

Two other men in the home were convicted of drug charges and received probation, including one who had signed for the UPS package, delivered by an undercover officer, police said.

Bailey had been profiled last year by the Sun-Times in a series on the "green rush" of entrepreneurs moving from Chicago to California and Colorado to work in the medical marijuana industry.

"Some people in the industry have gotten lucky. Other guys like me have gotten caught in the system," the newspaper quoted him as saying in an article that appeared in December.

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