Pot farmer sentenced to six years

2012-11-02T06:15:00Z 2012-11-02T19:51:53Z Pot farmer sentenced to six yearsLUKE FEUERHERM Journal Times

RACINE — A judge Thursday sentenced John J. Gay to six years in prison after police seized almost a ton of marijuana from his Raymond property the man had been running like a “small business.”

Racine Circuit Judge Wayne Marik told the court that he wasn’t sure Gay, 45, understood the seriousness or wrongfulness of his operation described as “huge,” including an irrigation system, multi-room processing barn and several employees.

“This was a small business in which you were engaged in from beginning to end, from growing to processing to distribution,” Marik said before handing down the sentence that includes six years of incarceration and three years of extended supervision.

The one year Gay has served in Racine County jail awaiting sentencing will count towards his six year prison sentence, Marik ruled.

On Oct. 31, 2011 police executed a search warrant on Gay’s property at 2743 76th St. and removed 1,859 pounds of marijuana, requiring a dump truck to remove the large black garbage bags filled with the plants.

Before making his decision, the judge heard arguments from Gay, his attorney and the attorney representing the county who detailed the extent of the marijuana operation.

Assistant District Attorney Jacalyn LaBre said that when police executed their search warrant they found about 290 marijuana plants, some as tall as seven feet and as wide as ten inches in diameter.

“These weren’t just normal, small marijuana plants,” LaBre said. “These plants were very large plants. Some of them were more like trees than plants.”

LaBre also said that Gay had at least seven people working for his “business” and making up to $25 per hour.

Gay’s attorney, Steven Kohn, did not dispute the police findings or his client’s guilt, saying to do so would be “ludicrous.” Instead, Kohn highlighted Gay’s character, claiming his client was not a hardened criminal but instead a victim of the recession.

“I do believe what he did was an act of desperation,” Kohn said. “It was his view that he could get himself economically stabilized.”

When Gay addressed the court, he quoted passages of the Bible and apologized to his family, friends and to God.

“I should have figured out a legal way to scrape by like everyone else,” Gay said.

Marik, however, doubted Gay’s alleged intention to simply use the business to stabilize himself, citing the cash found during the search, approximately $100,000, as enough to help someone through tough economic times.

“You almost seem to demonstrate a feeling of pride in the success and the scope of the operation you were engaging in as much as if you were a soybean farmer,” Marik said.

Gay faced a possible sentence of 20 years, in part because his property was located near Raymond Elementary School, 2659 76th St., Raymond.

Marik said he settled on the nine year sentence after weighing Gay’s low likelihood of committing future felonies with negative impact on the community and the need to punish the Raymond man to deter others from starting similar operations.

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(17) Comments

  1. chime in onetime
    Report Abuse
    chime in onetime - November 11, 2012 3:54 am
    DEO you sound like the big dork at the party.
  2. nicster
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    nicster - November 05, 2012 9:43 am
    There is something wrong here when he gets 6 years in prison, yet the other day I read "A Racine man will spend a year behind bars for molesting a 11-year-old girl last year ". Seriously wrong. Have we lost all priorities in this world?
  3. Grimreefer
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    Grimreefer - November 03, 2012 12:23 pm
    the reason why is if cannabis was allowed to be used big pharma , fda, dea, local pigs would lose billions not to forget the cia and fbi who have a finger in the black market. considering all the uses cannabis and hemp are able to be used for it would ruin those in power.
  4. Grimreefer
    Report Abuse
    Grimreefer - November 03, 2012 12:21 pm
    here is my list enjoy -

    Consenting people should have the protected freedom to do with their property, bodies and minds what they will, without private or public intervention.

    The Moral Argument

    The consenting/voluntary principle assures us that while we may have the possibility of choosing the worst, we also have the possibility of choosing the best. It provides us the opportunity to make things better, though it doesn't guarantee results. While it dictates that we do not force our idea of "better" on someone else, it protects us from having someone else's idea of "better" imposed on us by force. The use of coercion to compel virtue eliminates its possibility, for to be moral, an act must be uncoerced. If a person is compelled to act in a certain way (or threatened with government sanctions), there is nothing virtuous about his or her behavior. Freedom of choice is a necessary ingredient for the achievement of virtue. Whenever there is a chance for the good life, the risk of a bad one must also be accepted.

    cannabis is not addictive and no withdrawl -

    cannabis cures cancer -

    suicide rates fall with use -

    death rates fall for people with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders.

    cannabis promotes brain cell growth by 40% and protects it from damage -

    cannabis promotes healthy lungs -

    cannabis will not lower your immunity this is why it is used by HIV patients ( in fact new studys show it to stop HIV replication) .

    wondering if you should use cannabis vs your pills?
    cross reference what you have here-

    your sperm is safe that is just a scare tactic.

    do you know what "yellow journalism" is and how came to be?

    i think everyone should use some form of cannabis from conception to death.

    legal drugs cause more deaths per year than illegal drugs -

    cannabis ZERO deaths from use ever!!

    mothers who use cannabis during pregnancy have healthier smarter kids. -

    so now that you have facts on cannabis lets just decriminalize all drugs -

    people complain about the crime and deaths the war on drugs has caused.. you explain why to end prohibition and they say it will not work, its like they are standing in the rain saying they hate to get rained on and you telling them to come inside and they say no i will still get rained on.
  5. Grimreefer
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    Grimreefer - November 03, 2012 12:20 pm
    your ignorance is showing please learn facts before spewing your sheep bleating bs.
  6. DEO
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    DEO - November 02, 2012 8:14 pm
    Kay Nine - "Uh, no. That's all we need.... legalization so more people can sit idle, not work and live off taxpayers. If you can't function in life without a crutch like drugs, then maybe you need to look more carefully at your choices and figure out what your real problem is....

    No one NEEDS marijuana. Even the medical marijuana idea has become a joke.

    Try living life without having to smoke, snort or shoot up with something."

    Sorry but I have to throw a CHALLANGE Flag here! Do yo have any proof that "legalization so more people can sit idle, not work and live off taxpayers. If you can't function in life without a crutch like drugs"

    " Even the medical marijuana idea has become a joke." Have you ever watched a family member wither away to NOTHING because of Cancer? In some cases it DOES HELP those that are suffering. Been there seen it.

    Do you ever have a glass of wine or perhaps a beer? Is that not a "crutch" or is it different because so many people broke Federal Law during prohibition that Alcohol was made legal again.

    Even worse!

    “According to the US Department of Justice, 30-40 percent of all current prison admissions involve crimes that have no direct or obvious victim other than the perpetrator,” the report shows. “The drug category constitutes the largest offense category, with 31 percent of all prison admissions resulting from such crimes.” Nearly a third of all prison admissions are from non violent drug offenses!

    In 2007 the Department of Justice reported that there were 1,841,182 drug arrests in the United States; the report also stated that there were more drug abuse arrests than any other category of offenses. Marijuana arrests accounted for 47.4% of the drug abuse arrests. This allows us to estimate that about 872,720 persons were arrested for marijuana offenses. Eighty-nine percent of these arrests were for possession. The 2007 arrest data is even worse than 2006 when 829,627 people were arrested for marijuana (a Project Censored’s top 25 story in 2008). In 2005 there were 786,545 marijuana arrests, meaning that the number of arrests increased by 86K in just two years. Clearly, marijuana is an intense focus of police interest and activity; far more, apparently, than the less important crimes occurring at the same time on Wall Street.

    Nearly 1 million a year incarerated for possesion of cannibis! It grows out of the ground. ALCOHOL is more of a DRUG than Cannabis. If you go by Federal standards as to what defines a drug!

    Tax Money!

    Pot is, after all, California's biggest cash crop, responsible for $14 billion a year in sales, dwarfing the state's second largest agricultural commodity — milk and cream — which brings in $7.3 billion a year, according to the most recent USDA statistics. The state's tax collectors estimate the bill would bring in about $1.3 billion a year in much needed revenue, offsetting some of the billions of dollars in service cuts and spending reductions outlined in the recently approved state budget.

    Read more:,8599,1884956,00.html#ixzz2B7KHzAI6

    Illegal Cannibis is California's largest crop! Consider if legal, the increased taxs and the decreased cost of incarceration. Making much needed room for people who really belong in prison. Add to that that Hemp is a much better product than cotton for making a vast number of items.

    Finally I leave you with this!

    "Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica." - Abraham Lincoln

    "Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." ~ Abraham Lincoln December, 1840

  7. kevinsmom68
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    kevinsmom68 - November 02, 2012 6:50 pm
    this man gets 6x more jail time than someone who slaughters their own children [on average in this area].

  8. gotoutjustntime
    Report Abuse
    gotoutjustntime - November 02, 2012 6:03 pm
    Kay Nine you should think before you post ignorant comments. Think about it, million dollar bond for a guy growing weed and a trip to California for a funeral for one who commits murder. Does'nt make much sense does it?
  9. ordmm
    Report Abuse
    ordmm - November 02, 2012 3:35 pm
    Heck,,,With all that hemp 'Da Mayor could have got marble in the new city hall bathrooms! Hey, wait a minute, there IS marble in the bathrooms. Oh Johnnie,,,,you crafty devil.
  10. ordmm
    Report Abuse
    ordmm - November 02, 2012 3:32 pm
    Kay Nine.....Why bring An American into this?
  11. DanCali
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    DanCali - November 02, 2012 3:05 pm
    Somebody told. First major rule. Do NOT tell anyone about your "garden" no matter how proud and tempting it may be. Chances are, he could'nt help himself and is now going to spend a good chunk of time at the gray bar hotel.Ouch! But yes....LEGALIZE IT !!!!!
  12. Kay Nine
    Report Abuse
    Kay Nine - November 02, 2012 12:03 pm
    Uh, no. That's all we need.... legalization so more people can sit idle, not work and live off taxpayers. If you can't function in life without a crutch like drugs, then maybe you need to look more carefully at your choices and figure out what your real problem is....

    No one NEEDS marijuana. Even the medical marijuana idea has become a joke.

    Try living life without having to smoke, snort or shoot up with something.
  13. jnj3225
    Report Abuse
    jnj3225 - November 02, 2012 11:47 am
    If he were black or Hispanic, he wouldn't have got caught.
  14. Relocate
    Report Abuse
    Relocate - November 02, 2012 10:44 am
    If it was legal, think how many school kids could have just walked over after school for gainful employment!!!
  15. GottaLuvRacine
    Report Abuse
    GottaLuvRacine - November 02, 2012 10:35 am
    if he was black or hispanice he would have been put UNDER the jail!
  16. USMJP
    Report Abuse
    USMJP - November 02, 2012 9:26 am
    Please tell your friends in Vermont
    to Vote for Cris Ericson,
    United States Marijuana Party
    Thank you!
  17. schoolgirl72
    Report Abuse
    schoolgirl72 - November 02, 2012 7:18 am
    Legalize it!
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