TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Letters keep pot grower out of prison

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 6:21 p.m.
 

DETROIT — A southeastern Michigan farmer recovering from throat cancer was sentenced to probation instead of prison on Tuesday for growing thousands of marijuana plants, partly because of many handwritten letters from supporters who described him as a modest, selfless man who helps others at every turn.

“This is one that most screams out: This man deserves a break,” U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said.

Edwin Schmieding, 61, was caught growing 8,000 marijuana plants at his Lenawee County farm and greenhouse in 2011. His wife told police that they were trying to tap the state's medical marijuana market, although production that large is illegal.

Schmieding's attorney, Sanford Schulman, noted that most plants were small and of low quality.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Schmieding told the judge as relatives wept in the courtroom gallery. “I've lived a hard-working life. I give you my word: I'll be a responsible citizen.”

Schmieding began growing marijuana in 2010 after years of growing cut flowers and other plants. He and wife Linda lived in a home built with their own hands and warmed by firewood during winter.

Friedman was influenced by letters from relatives and friends, even Schmieding's former wife, in the rural area. A neighbor said Schmieding regularly lent tools and helped him pour concrete. Family members said they were inspired by his modesty and independence as well as his courage during cancer treatments.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. 2 women advance to final phase of Army Ranger training
  2. Obama to mandate steeper emissions cuts from power plants
  3. State Department accuses top Clinton aide of violations
  4. Marines finally ready to roll out controversial fighter jet
  5. Obama’s nuclear deal lobbying sways Democrats
  6. U.S., Hong Kong researchers develop computer model to examine spread of influenza
  7. Pressure mounts for Biden to join 2016 White House race
  8. Midwest farmers pessimistic of fall harvest amid damaging, long-term rain
  9. 4 dead, 65 sickened in Bronx by Legionella
  10. Name of cop withheld in shooting of motorist in South Carolina
  11. Food industry players fighting proposed dietary guidelines drop millions on lobbyists