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Washington pot grower enters plea on drug, weapons charges

A marijuana grower near Spokane, Washington, who shot dead two men who broke into his home, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to charges of manufacturing the drug and being in possession of a firearm. He was originally charged with drug and weapons charges that meant he could have faced 15 to 40 years in prison. However, under the plea deal, he only has to face the five-year mandatory minimum.

Under the plea agreement, the 36-year-old man forfeited the $670,000 raised from the sale of his two homes, a 2008 Toyota pickup truck, a 2008 Mercedes and five guns seized by authorities. The guns were a Bushmaster XM-15 assault rifle, a Glock 17 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, an Intratec Tec-9 9mm pistol, a Professional Ordinance MDL Carbon 15 and a Benelli 12 gauge shotgun.

The pot-growing operation in the man's garage held about 200 marijuana plants when the two men broke in. The grower says he shot them in self-defense. Additional marijuana was reportedly found by police in the man's pickup truck. He was taken into custody following an investigation conducted jointly by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Felonies in which a weapon is discharged can bring increased weapons charges and penalties. Simply being in possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony raises the mandatory amount of prison time and fines. A Washington attorney may help clients by working to negotiate a plea deal with the court in exchange for lowered charges and penalties.

Source: Seattle Times, "Man who killed 2 home invaders pleads guilty to drug, firearm charges", Alexa Vaughn, October 25, 2013

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