Drug crimes are treated seriously by the state of Wisconsin. Most drug crimes involve simple possession of a small amount of illegal drugs such as marijuana, but suspects can be arrested for something as minor as being caught with drug paraphernalia like a bong. Then of course, there are the big drug crimes: trafficking and manufacturing.
Depending on the nature of the drug crime, sentencing will vary. Simple possession or paraphernalia possession are treated seriously, but first time offenders may be shown some leniency. But a recent case from Brookfield shows that those who manufacture or traffic drugs are often hit hardest by the legal system.
Police in Brookfield arrested a 41-year-old man last August in the largest marijuana drug bust in Waukesha County's history. The man was found to be running a growing operation out of a house in a Brookfield neighborhood.
According to court documents, the man was in possession of 400 marijuana plants which had a combined value of $400,000. He was growing the plants in a leased house which he allegedly used only as a growing facility. He did not live there.
Earlier this month, the man pled no contest to drug manufacturing which is a felony. Because he pled no contest to the charge he was able to avoid a second charge of maintaining a drug trafficking place.
The man will serve 5 years in prison, followed by 4 years of extended probation. The judge overseeing the case admitted that the long prison sentence was meant to set an example for others. He said he wanted to convey that "you can't do this; you can't get involved with this type of life."
The evidence against this man was strong, and negative public sentiment was also likely a factor in his sentencing. Drug trafficking and manufacturing is a dangerous business, both socially and legally. Those who participate should know that Wisconsin treats these crimes seriously, and punishment is severe for those who get convicted.
Source: BrookfieldNow.com, "Man gets 5-year sentence for Brookfield pot operation," Aaron Martin, 08 February 2011